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■V 


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Epstain, 11. 

T]-ie English Levant ocapany, its fc\MitU*tlori 
and its l-.istory to 1640. 


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THE 
ILISH LEVA! 
COMPANY 

ITS FOVS'DAIION AND ITS HISTOXr 
TO 1640 

INAUGURAL-DISSERTATION 

iin KHIAH4U»4 DBtt DOKTORWCllDB OBD tlOIKN' 
r PAtCULtlT atn KDPXKCHT- 

- nsiriJRsiTXt, naiPCLBbiir.. 

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THE ENGLISH LEVANT 
COMPANY 





1 


KpeUin, M. 

The Rngliah Levant ccapany, its fouridt 
aivi ite hiBtory to 1640. 


1 




1 


Usse 



ABBREVIATIONS 

7. S. P. Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts 
relating to English Affairs, existing in the 
Archives and Collections of Venice, and in 
other Libraries in Northern Italy. 
8 vols., edited as follows : 
Vols. I to VI, by Rawdon Brown, 
Vol. VII, by the late Rawdon Brown and the 

Rt. Hon. G. Cavendish Bentinck. 
Vol. VIII, by Horatio F. Brown. 

S. P. D. ** Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series, 
of the reign of EUzabeth (or, of the reign of James 
I) preserved in the Public Record Office." 

Turkey Papers : Foreign State Papers, Turkey. These 
miscellaneous papers are kept in bundles at the 
Public Record Office ; they are unbound, and 
un-numbered. 

Min, : Minutes of the Meetings of the Court of the Com- 
pany. They may be obtained at the Public 
Record Office under the following description : 
" Foreign Archives, Levant Company, Nos. 
147-156." 

S. P. F. : *' Calendar of State Papers, Foreign Series, of 
the reign of Elizabeth, preserved in the Public 
Record Office." 



Printed Books and Pamphlets to. which 
reference is made in the notes. 



« 



Account of the Levant Company ; with some notices 
of the benefits conferred upon Society by its officers 
in promoting the cause of humanity. Literature and 
the fine Arts." (Anonymous.) London 1825. 

Pages 4, 8, 62. 

vu 



vm 



REFERENCES 



Camden : Life and reign of Queen Elizabeth (1719 edition). 

Page 18. 

Cunningham : The Growth of English Industry and 

Commerce, 4th edition 1905. 
Pages I, 6, 124, 143. 

Hakluyt, Richard : The principal navigations, voyages 
traffiques, etc., of the English nation. Glasgow 
edition 1903-1905 in 12 vols. 

Pages 5, 7, II, 16, 43. 

Hewins : English trade and Finance chiefly in the 17th 

century. 
Page 8. 

JIeyd : Geschichte des Levantehandels im Mittelalter 

(1879). 
Page I. 

P. Masson : Histoire du commerce frangais dans le levant. 

Page 14. 

MoNSON, Sir William : Naval Tracts. 

Pages 5, 7. 

Palgrave : Dictionary of Political Economy. 

Page 8. 

Rogers : History of Prices. 
Page I. 

Rymer : Foedera. 
Page 6. 

ScHANZ : Englische Handelspolitik. 

Page I. 

Statutes of the Realm. 
Page 3. 

Williamson*: The Foreign Commerce of England under 

the Tudors. 
Pages 6, 8 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

. Period of periodic Charters, to 1605. 

CHAP. PAGE 

I Introduction ...... i 

II The first Charter of the Turkey Company, 15 81 16 

III The first Charter of the Venice Company, 1583 20 

IV The founding of the Levant Company, 1592 25 
V The History of the Company from 1592 to 1605 40 

//. Period of the permanent Charter, to 1640. 

VI Officers and officials of the Company . . 67 

VII Meetings of the Company and Membership . 100 

VIII The currant trade and the regulation of trade 

in other commodities . . . .109 

IX The regulation of shipping . . -135 

X Pirates, Interlopers and Factors . . .141 
XI Conclusion . . . . . . .150 

APPENDICES 

I The Charter of 1605 ..... 153 
II Governors of the Company . . . .211 

III Ambassadors (to 1640) . . . .213 

ix 



APPENDICES 













PAGB 


IV 


Consuls and Vicc-Consuls 




. 214 


V 


Lists of ships 




. 217 


VI 


List of Ports 




. 230 


VII 


Impositions 




. 232 


VIII 


Miscellaneous Documents 




. 239 




NO. PAGE 






I 






239 






2 






245 






3 A 






251 






B 






252 






C 






256 






4 






258 






5 


< 




262 






INTRODUCTION 



During the Middle Ages it was through the 
markets of Italy that the rich products of 
the East found their way into Christendom. 
Italian merchants indeed played the first 
part in mediaeval Levant commerced Eng- 
land's connexion with them was of very old 
standing." First the Florentines were the 
chief Italian traders ; they were succeeded 
by the Genoese, and in the fifteenth century, 
the Mediterranean trade with England fell 
almost exclusively into the hands of the 
Venetians. Indeed, already in the fourteenth 
century the Venetian merchants in England 

* Heyd : Geschickie des Levantehandels im Mitlelaller 
(1879) Band I. Vorwort, page vi. Rogers : History 
of Prices, I. p. 147 ; Cunningham : The Grotplh of 
English Industry and Commerce, I. p. 184. 

- Schanz : Englische HandetspoHHk, I. pp. 111-130. 



2 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

were sufficiently numerous to be under the 
government of their own Consul.^ 

The chief intercourse between England 
and Venice was carried on by a small fleet of 
trading vessels called the " Flanders Galleys."* 
These galleys brought a variety of merchan- 
dise to England ^ which may be classed 
under two heads. First, there were the 
costly spiceSj and secondly, the more general 
articles of Eastern product and Venetian 
industry. The Italians distinguished between 
spices proper or "gross-spice" and the 
drugs or " small-spice." ' Gross-spice in- 
cluded gingers, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, 
nutmegs, red sandal-wood, camphor and many 
other drugs ; while under small-spice such 
things as rhubarb from Persia, aloes, dates, 
sugar, currants, prunes, malmsies and Tyrian 
wine were understood. The whole of the 
spice trade was enormously lucrative, though 

3 V. S. p. I. Preface, p. 59. 

* For an account of tliese Galleys and the regulations 
which were made concerning them, see Venetian Slate 
Papers. I. Preface, p. 61 ff. 

^ V. S. P. I. Preface 135 ff. and Rogers : History of 
Prices, iv. chapter 23. 

V. S. p. I. Preface, p. 137. 



^ THE LEVANT COMPANY 3 

the other more general articles must have 
yielded a good profit too. These included 
such goods as silk, cotton, and glass ; and of 
these latter, perhaps the trade in silk was the 
most important. 

A variety of causes brought it about that 
the Venetian trade with England gradually 
declined. There was first of all the commer- 
cial and naval policy of Henry VII, who 
desired English ships to have a share in the 
wine trade. This led to a quarrel with' 
Venice,' who, intent on preserving the mono- 
poly she enjoyed, levied an extra duty of 
4 Ducats or 18 shillings on every Butt of 
Malmsey exported from Candia in foreign 
ships. In 1492 Henry retaliated by an Act 
of Parliament ^ which fixed 126 gallons as the 
precise amount of wine to be contained in 
every Butt ; fixed the price of the Butt at 4 
pounds sterling, and compelled every alien 
importer to pay an extra 18 shillings ' per 
butt as import duty. The Act was to be in 

' Compare SlatuUs of the Realm, y° Hen. VII, 
chapter 7, preamble. 

* 7° Henry VII, cap. 7. 

• Cf. also 5. P. D. James I. vol. 15, No. 4. 



4 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

force so long as the Venetians retained their 
impost of 4 Ducats. 

But causes of a more general nature were 
at work to undermine the commercial great- 
ness of Venice. The League of Cambrai 
crippled the power of the Republic^ and while 
the struggle was going on, the voyages of the 
" Flanders galleys " were interrupted. From 
1509 to 1518 no Venetian trading fleet visited 
England. In 1518 a fleet came but it was 
coldly received ; in 1521 it was an unprofit- 
able venture. And so the trade declined until 
1532. On the 22nd of May in that year the 
"Flanders Galleys" sailed from Southamp- 
ton^" for the last time.^' But this was not 
quite the end of Venetian trading to England. 
Venetian merchants stUl continued to send 

'" Soxithampton had been appointed as dep6t for 
oriental goods. In 1456 the Italian merchants left 
London and made Southampton their headquarters. 
Cf. " Accounl of the Levant Company ; with some noiices 
of the benefits conferred upon Society by its officers in 
promoting the cause of humanity, Literaiure and the fine 
arts." London, 1825. This pamphlet is No. 8 in a 
collection of Tracts on Trade and Commerce to be found 
in the British Museum under press mark T. 1146. 

» Cf. V. S. p. 1. Preface, p. 70. Also V. S. P. IV. 
Entry No. 771, 



■ THE LEVANT COMPANY 5 

vessels with Levant commodities, but these 
vessels came at the merchants' own risk, 
and, unlike the " Flanders Galleys," regu- 
lated their movements at their own will. A 
vessel of this kind was wrecked off the Isle 
of Wight in October, 1587,'^ and that was the 
last of the Venetian vessels trading to England 
of which we know. 

The interruption of the commerce of Venice 
which the League of Cambrai had brought 
about exercised a very beneficial influence 
on the enterprise of English merchants. Up 
till that time they had been content to receive 
Levant goods from the Venetians ; now they 
were forced to go themselves for them. Thus 
we find that between the years 1511 and 
1534, five London ships " with certain other 
ships of Southampton and Bristow (Bristol) 
had an ordinary and usual trade to Sicily, 
Candia and Chios." "^ In 1513 an English 
'* Sir William Monson was an eye-witness of this 
catastrophe, and describes it in his Naval Tracls, IV. p. 
408 (given in Churchill's Collections of Voyages and 
Travels, 1752). Sir William there says: "The goodly 
ship struck upon the shingles at The Needles and all 
on board save seven poor creatures perished, and her 
entire merchandize was lost." 

' Richard Hakluyt : The principal navigations. 



6 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

consul was established in the island of Chios/* 
and in 1522 a mercantile settlement was 
made at Candia,'^ while in 1533 began the 
English currant trade with Zante.^* 

The trade must have continued with vary- 
ing fortune. Hakluyt relates ^^ how voyages 
to Candia and Chios were made by EngUsh 
ships in 1534 and 1535, and mentions^' 
one, William Eyms who was factor in Chios 
for his master Sir William Bower, Alderman 
of London, as also for the Duke of Norfolk, 
both of whom must have had commercial 
relations with the island up to 1552. But 
traders had many difficulties to overcome, 
as would appear from Hakluyt's account^" 
of Captain Bodenham's voyage ; especially 
the pirates *" that abounded in the Levant 
seas. Besides, the Levant was a new area 
for English merchants and it took some time 

voyages, traffiqws, etc., of the English naiion, vol. 5. 
p. 63. 

1* Rymer, Foedera, vol. 13, p. 353. 

" Rymer, ditto, p. 766. 

" See Williamson : The Foreign Commerce of Eng- 
land under the Tudors, p. 20. 

" V. p. 67, 68. ^* V. p. 69. " V. p. 71. 

'" Cf. Cunningham, " Growth of English Industry and 
Commerce, II. p. 188. 



I 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



if ore any very great numbers of them 
'•adventured thither. Nevertheless, it was 
gradually being felt that if English merchants 
fetched the goods from the Levant and did 
not depend on the Venetians, they would be 
able to sell them at home much more cheaply 
than the Venetians.^^ This at any rate 
was a spur to EngUsh merchants to try their 
fortunes in the Levant. No doubt^ too, the 
spirit of adventure which was rife in England 
in the second half of the sixteenth century 
must also have worked in the same direction 

The first Englishman who went to Turkey, 
and of whom we know anything, was the 
energetic and experienced traveller Anthony 
Jenkinson, who at Aleppo in 1553 received 
recognition at the hands of Sultan Solyman 
the Great. The Sultan granted him a safe- 

' Cf. Hakluyt V. pp. 133, 115. " And by reason that 
E have not traded into those parts these many years 
(] . . I find that the Venetians do bring those com- 
modities hither and do sell them for double the value 
that we ourselves were accustomed to fetch them." 

Cf. also Sir WUham Monson's Naval Tracts, p. 408 ■ 

" The Venetians have engrossed the whole trade on 

those seas (the Mediterranean) and furnished us with 

the rich merchandize oi Turkey ... at what rate they 

jased themselves." 



T 1 

I 8 THE EARLY HISTORY OF d 

conduct and gave him permission to trade 
in Turkey on an equal footing with the 
French and the Venetians^* that is to say, 
' he was to pay the ordinary toll and no other. 

But the case of Jenkinson was apparently 
an isolated one, for we hear of no other 
English merchants till 1575 or thereabouts. 
Indeed, Hakluyt asserts "^ that after 1550 
the Levant trade declined, was " in manner 
quite forgotten " until Sir Edward Osborne 
and Richard Staper made an attempt to 
revive it.** 



^ Mr. Williamson {" The Foreign Commerce of Ei 
land under the Tudors " p. 58) says that Jenkinson 
" obtained leave to trade to the market of Aleppo upon 
the same tenns as those enjoyed by the French and 
the Genoese." There are two errore here. (1) The 
privileges say that Jenkinson might trade " wheresoever 
it shall seem good unto him " — anywhere in Turkey 
therefore ; and (2) his hberties were to be such as were 
enjoyed by the French and the Venetians — not the 
Genoese. ^i y. p. 168. 

** The anon3Tnous writer in the Account of Levattt 
Company (see above, p. 4, note 10) is not very full on 
the earlier history of the Company. Nor is Mr. Hewins 
in his English Trade and Finance, chiefly in the Seven- 
teenth Ceniury, nor the writer of the article " Turkey 
Company " in Mr. Palgrave's Dictionary of PoUlical 
Economy. Both Mr. Hewins and the writer of the 
article appear to have followed the author of the A,q- 
counl, etc. 






I 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



I No doubt this was just a case of two 
enterprising merchants who wished to open 
up new markets. For though the Venetian 
merchants, as we have seen, continued their 
commerce with England as late as 1587, yet 
it may be assumed that they were not very 
numerous and could not adequately supply 
the demand. Accordingly it was but natural 
^^ to find English merchants bent on making 
^^kan attempt for themselves. Sir Edward 
^V Osborne and Richard Staper, about the 
year 1575 sent two agents to Constantinople " 
to procure a safe-conduct from the Sultan 
for one, William Harbome, who was factor 
for Sir Edward. The agents were successful, 
and in July, 1578, William Harborne set sail 

■ from London, travelling overland ^^ to Con- 
stantinople where he arrived on October 28 

« Hakluyt V. p. i68. 

^* Harborne travelled overland in order that no 
attention might be directed to his journey. Walsing- 

■ ham in his " Considerations of the Trade into Turkey " 
(S. P. D. EHz. vol. 144, No. 70) says that the Ambassa- 
dor's " repair thither is to be handled with great secrecy 
and his voyage to be performed rather by land than 
by sea, for that otherwise the Italians that are here 
will seek underhand that he may be disgraced at his 
, repair thither." See Appendix VIII. No. 2 (page 248). 



I 
I 



10 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

of that year. That he was a skilful and 
diplomatic agent we know from later events,^' 
and evidently his very first visit to Constan- 
tinople was successful. He managed to 
obtain from the Sultan a letter to Queen 
Elizabeth'* couched in flattering terms, 
offering to open up the Turkish dominions 
to the English traders who had sent Harborne, 
and asking that liberty might be granted to 
Turkish traders to come to England. The 
reply to this *' suggests that the grant which 
the Sultan had been pleased to make to one 
or two Enghshmen only should be extended 
to all English traders/" and that in return 
Elizabeth would grant equal liberties to the 
subjects of the Sultan. This letter was 
carried to Constantinople, where Harbome 
then waS'/^ by the good ship the Prudence 

!" Cf. V. S. p. VIII. Introduction, p. 43. 

*' Hakluyt V. p. i6g gives this letter in full. It is 
dated March 15. 1579- ^^- ^'^ Appendix VIII. No. i 
(page 239). 

" Hakluyt V. p. 171. It is dated Oct. 20, 1579. 

»o Cf. S. P. D. Eliz. vol. 151, No. 33. 

" Cf. Elizabeth's letter as quoted by Hakluyt V. p. 
172 : Guilielmo Harbomo in Imperial] Celsitudins ves- 
trae civitate Constantinopoli comniorante, " Mr. Horatio 
Brown in his Introduction to vol. S of V. S. P. (p. 30) 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



|-of London.'' Seven months later Murad III 
t issued a charter of privileges to English 
traders ^^ which is dated at Constantinople 
the beginning of the month of June, 1580/* 
I granting the same rights to English merchants 
as other European traders in Turkey pos- 
ted. They were to be allowed to buy 
I and sell without any hindrance, and observe 
' the customs and orders of their own country. ^^ 
In all probability it was due to the diplo- 
macy of Harborne that these privileges were 
granted. But seemingly, the French Ambas- 
sador in Constantinople, M. de Germigny, 
was very powerful and he successfully brought 
his influence to bear on the Sultan to cancel 



makes him come to Constantinople in February, 1580, 
But he gives no authority for the statement. Hakluyt 
is supported by the document given in Appendix VIII. 
, No. I. 

" Hakluyt V. p. 171. 

M Cf. Hakluyt V. p. 178. Also V. S. P. vol. 8, No. 
127. Also S. P. Foreign, 1579-80, No. 305. 

** Hakluyt's version of the charter has " in principio 
I mensis Junii." Mr. Brown in his Introduction to vol. 
i of the V. S. P. (p. 30) says the charter was dated 
May 13, 1580. 

^* Cf. Appendix VIII. No. i, where a good deal of 
light is thrown on the whole proceeding. 



THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



the patent.^® Harborne had meanwhile re- 
turned to England ; but, nothing daunted 
by the power of the French ambassador in 
Constantinople, he determined to sail once 
more for the East and renew his efforts to 
obtain a patent of privileges. On his arrival 
at Constantinople he found his position 
extremely difficult and had to return home 
with his purpose unachieved. But he made 
yet another effort, and on November 20, 
1580,^'' he obtained credentials from Elizabeth 
appointing him ambassador or agent for her 
majesty at Constantinople, giving him power 
over all English subjects trading in Turkey 
and authority to appoint consuls and to 
enact laws.^^ With these he set sail for 
Turkey in the good ship, the Susan, on J anuary 
14, 1583,^* carrying with him letters of recom- 
mendation, one to the Sultan *" and the , 

^^ Cf. V. S. p. vol. 8. Introduction, p. 30 and entry \ 
No. 2. 

3' This is the date given by Hakluyt. Mr. Horatio 
Brown in his Introduction to V. S. P. vol. 8 {p. 31) 
says the date was November 15. 

'* The whole document given in Hakluyt V. pp. 
221-2. *" Hakluyt V. p. 243. 

*" Quoted in Hakluyt V. p. 224, and also In V. S. P. 
vol. 8 (No. 132). 




[ 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



13 



w. 



her to All ^1 Pasha, the Turkish High 
Admiral.** In spite of the opposition and 
protests of M. de Germigny, Harbome 
succeeded in getting himself recognized, and 
on May 3, 1583, kissed hands and presented 
the gifts which Elizabeth had sent to the 
itan.*' The result of this reception was 



Mr. Horatio Brown calls him Mehemet. 
This letter is quoted in Hakluyt V. p. 228, and 
also in V. S. P. vol. 8 (No. 133). 

** Cf. V. S. P. vol. 8, No. 131. The gifts were a 
regular feature of the intercourse. Every new am- 
bassador brought presents for the Sultan and his minis- 
ters. Cf. Minutes of Meetings of the Court of the Com- 
pany, under date June 16, 1636 ; also 5. P. D. Eliz. 
vol. 233, No. 13 : " every six years must a present of 
£1,500 be given to the Grand Signior according to ancient 
custom." In S. P. D. Eliz. vol. 241, No. 13 the present 
is said to be of the value of £2,600. Whether the Sultan 
also sent presents to the rulers of England does not 
seem quite clear. But there is one record of a present 
from the Sultana to Elizabeth in 1593 (found among 
the papers in Bundle 2 of Turkey Papers in the Record 
Office), which runs as follows — 

First, two garments of cloth of silver (might 

cost) £68 

more, one girdle of cloth of silver (might 
cost) ....... 10 

more, two handkerchere, wrought with massy 

gold asps (might cost) ... 22 

more, one shell of gold which covered the 
seal of her letter to her majesty, with 2 



I 



14 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

that the cancelled treaty was renewed,** in 
face of strong opposition on the part both of 
the French and the Venetian ambassadors ; 
and the first-fruits of the new treaty were 
visible in the arrival of an English merchant- 
ship at Constantinople on June 9, 1584.** 
Harbome's mission was originally purely 
for trading purposes. But in due course 
Elizabeth must have perceived that if he 
were given a political position he would be 
the better able to win the Sultan's support 
against Spain. "No doubt the common hos- 
tility of the two rulers to Spain helped to 
draw them closer together,** and the English 
merchants all through the negotiations were 
not unmindful of this political aspect of the 
case.*' They point out that if the queen 
has an agent in Constantinople she may thus 
be enabled to use the Grand Signior in any 

small diamonds and 2 small rubies, which 
might be worth ..... 20 

£120." 
" V. S. P. vol. 8, No. 138. 
^fi V. S. p. vol. 8, No. 191. 

^» Cf. Appendix VIII. No. 2. Cf. also P. Masson : 
Histoire du Comtnerce Franfais dans le Levant., xvii. 
*' Cf. Appendix VIII. No. i (e.g. p. 241). 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 15 

matter of State. Furthermore, Harbome was 
promised that he would be repaid for any 
expense he might be put to, and also for his 
trouble.*® It does not seem likely that such 
a promise would have been made if only 
commercial relations had been contemplated.** 

*® See 5. P, D, Eliz. vol. 151, No. 33. See also below, 

P- 74- 

*» See F. 5. P. vol. 8, No. 188. The French King 

" was sure that not commerce, but some far deeper 

design was at the root of the queen's action.*' 



THE FIRST CHARTER OF THE TURKEY COMPANY, 



But commercial relations were certainly aimed 
at, and on September ii, 1581, Elizabeth 
issued letters patents ' to Sir Edward Osborne, 
Richard Staper and certain other merchants 
of London to trade into the dominions of the 
Great Turk ; but the Company so formed 
was never to exceed twelve in number. The 
patent should extend for seven years ; but 
if before that time it proved unprofitable to 
continue the trade, the grant might be re- 
called. On the other hand, if during the 
first period the trade proved lucrative, then 
a second grant would be made for another 
seven years. Sir Edward Osborne was ap- 
pointed Governor of the Company, and only 
those who were members might trade in the 



1 See Hakluyt V. p. 19: 
vol. 10, No. 30. 



Cf. also S. P. D. James I. 



I 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 17 

dominions of the Grand Signior. The Com- 
pany was bound to send out shipping yearly, 
and the customs on their exports and imports 
were to be not less than £500 per annum 
during six out of the seven years. Further- 
more, they were to give notice to the Lord 
High Admiral of England or to the other 
principal officers of the Admiralty of the 
number of the ships they were sending out 
and also of the number of men in them. 
Now although the Company was limited 
to yearly shipping it was aometimes found 
necessary to send goods to Turkey on occa- 
sions other than those allowed by the charter. 
It would then have to obtain special per- 
mission ; we find, for example, on one 
occasion that the merchants asked for per- 
mission to send a fleet into Turkish waters 
because there was a prospect of brisk trade.' 
The ambassador, they say in their letter to 
Walsingham, had assured the Viceroy that 
the EngHsh would fully furnish the country 
with commodities, and the factors had bound 



* Cf. S. P. D. EUz. vol. 165, No. 56. Cf. also Appen- 
'""£ V. p. 221, No. 5. 



i8 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

themselves for the delivery of English goods 
by a certain date. 

There appears to be little evidence on which 
to base any opinion as to the state of the 
Turkey trade during this period of the first 
letters patent. Camden ' relates that after 
the Company came into being it " has ever 
since found a very gainful trade," and men- 
tions spices, cottons, raw silk, tapestries, 
Indian dye, grapes of Corinth or currants 
and soap as commodities of trade, both im- 
ported and exported. The merchants them- 
selves said in a letter to Walsingham * that 
the commodities they sent to Turkey were 
cloths, kerseys, and cony-skins, which were 
both dyed and tanned. These three articles 
were important English exports in the Turkey 
trade.* The same document gives a list 
also of their imports.* But the whole of the 
Turkey trade must have been pretty flourish- 

^ Life and reign oj Queen Elizabeth (p. 464 in edition 
of 1719). ■* See 5. P. D. Eliz. vol. 165, No. 56. 

* Cf. document in Bundle I oj Turkey Papers. The 
document has no date, but from the mention of " her 
majesty " it is clearly under Elizabeth. It proceeds, 
" The commodities vented within the straits be all sorts 
of cloth and kerseys, dyed and dressed to the best proof, 
tin, lead, black cony skins, etc., for which we return 



\ 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 19 

ing. In 1590, in reviewing their five years' 
activities the Company state * that they had 
employed nineteen ships during the time 
they had held their charter ; that these ships 
had made twenty-seven voyages and had 
employed 787 men in them ; while in customs 
they had paid ^ir,359 6s. 

[i.e. bring back] oils, Indigo, raw silk, spices, drngs, 
currants, wines of Candia, cotton wool and yam, gro- 
grams, chamblotte, carpets, allum, caules, aniseed, 
brimstone and divers other things." 

Cf. also S. P. D. Eliz. vol. 233, No, 13 : " The com- 
modities we carry thither are kerseys of all sorts, 
coloured cloths of all sorts and colours, tin in bars, 
wrought pewter, black conyskins. The commodities we 
return are all kinds of spices, as Indigo blues, raw silk, 
allum, apothecary drugs of all kinds, cotton wool and 
yam, cotton cloth — blue and white ; galls, cnrrants, 
oils, grograynes, chamblette, anniseed, white soap, worm 
seed, goat skins, carpets, quilts and divers other things." 

[Grogram or grograyn was a kind of coarse stuff 
made of silk and mohair. Chamblette was a stuff mixed 
with camel's hair.] 

Cf. also two entries in V. S. P. vol. 8. No. 267 (March 
29, 1585) gives an extract from the Report of the Vene- 
tian ambassador in Constantinople : " Four days ago 
an English ship arrived with a cargo of cloth, tin and 
other goods. The Turks were glad, for the city is 
almost without cloth for clothing." V. S. P. vol. 8, No. 
329 (.March 17, 1586) : " Some days ago an English ship 
entered this port ; she has a little cloth and tin." 

* S, P, D. Elizabeth, vol. 233, No. 13. 



Ill 

THE FIRST CHARTER OF THE VENICE COMPANY, 

1583 

But the Turkish traders were not the only 
EngUshmen who during this time did busi- 
ness in the waters of the Eastern mediterra- 
nean. There was another Company of traders 
who did not go quite so far East, but hmited 
its enterprise to Venice and its dominions. 
It will be necessary to cast a glance at its 
origin.^ 

In 1575 Queen Elizabeth at the request of 
the Earl of Leicester granted a patent to 
one, Acerbo Velutelli, a citizen of Florence, 
giving him the sole right of importing currants 
into England. By virtue of this licence 
Acerbo exacted of all merchants who brought 
in currants two shillings or two shillings and 

^ The story of the foundation of the Venice Company 
is told pretty fully in the document in S. P. D, Jame3 I, 
vol. 20, No. 25, 

10 



The LEVANt COMPANY 2i 

sixpence on each hundredweight, calling it 
licence-money. 

About the same time began the embargo 
in Spain, and therefore many English mer- 
chants were deprived of the Spanish trade. 
They turned their attention to the trade 
in the Levant seas and took to bringing 
currants into England. Hence it came about 
that a large number of merchants, Enghsh as 
well as foreign, were made to feel the exactions 
of Acerbo. Accordingly the English mer- 
chants made their complaint to the queen, 
pointing out how intolerable it was that a 
foreigner shoiild have the right of taxing 
Englishmen. Whereupon Acerbo was ordered 
to cease his exactions on English merchants, 
and the consequence was that only foreign 
merchants had to pay him his Hcence-money. 
The majority of the foreign merchants were 
Venetians, and they complained to the Seig- 
niory of Venice. The Seigniory, dissatisfied 
that Venetians should be forced to pay 
Velutelli for permission to import their own 
products into England, retaliated by an 
imposition as well on exports as on imports, 
• and on EngHsh merchants as on all strangers. 



22 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

On a hundredweight of currants lo ducats 
were exacted ^ ; on a Butt of wine 6 Ducats 
or 30s. ; on a hundredweight of wool, 3 
Ducats ; on a kersey, 2 Ducats, and on each 
hundredweight of tin, 2 Ducats hkewise. 

The English merchants found this a heavy 
charge and complained to EUzabeth,^ saying 
that the Venetian trade had greatly increased 
to the advantage of the realm, and was likely 
to increase still more if left unburdened by 
exactions. An attempt was then made * to 
enter into negotiations with the Venetian 
Senate with a view to their excepting English 
commerce from their duties. But in vain. 
Thereupon Elizabeth in 1563, granted some 
English traders a privilege to trade to Venice 
for six years, Velutelli's privilege having been 
recalled.* The grant was made to Edward 

' A Ducat was equivalent to five shillings. So that 
on each hundredweight of currants the. tax was 50 
shillings. Yet the document (S. P. D. James I, vol. 
20, No. 25) says it was five shillings and sixpence ! In 
another dcciunent, however, speaking of the same 
point (5. P. D. Eliz. vol. 233, No. 14) fifty shillings is 
rightly mentioned. 

3 S. P. D. Eliz. vol. 149, No. 58. 

* S. P. D. James 1, vol. 10, No. 27. 

fi CI 5. P. D. Eliz. \o\. 155. No, no. Also, S. P. D. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 23 

Cordell, Edward Hambdon, Paul Banning and 
others, who had the sole privilege of importing 
currants, sweet wines and oils from Venice 
into England during the time of the grant. 
All others were forbidden to import these 
commodities on pain of confiscation both of 
ships and goods. So the Venetians were hit. 
There was however this proviso : that as 
soon as the Venetian Senate should lay aside 
its impositions, Venetian traders might import 
currants into England as before. 

The wording of the patent then, was quite 
clear. Only members of the Company could 
bring currants into England, and no others. 
The Company, however, went beyond this 
and levied a tax of five shillings and sixpence 
on every hundredweight of currants brought 
into the country by any merchant who was 
not a member of the Company. It is impor- 
tant to note this fact in the light of later 
events.^ 

During the period 1581 to 1588 there were 
wo English companies engaged in the Eastern 

!E/(Z. vol. 177, No. 55. Also, ,.S. P. D. James I, vol. 10, 
I. 27 and No. 30. 
' See below, p. 43, note (7). 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



trade.' The Venetian Company must have 
had a fairly prosperous business. Already 
in 1581, that is before they were incorporated, 
they mention fourteen ships ^ with an 
gate crew of 510 men and 2,550 tons burden, 
which would point to a fairly large volume 
of trade, large for those days. Like their 
Turkey brethren they too exported cloth and 
kerseys." 

' S. P. D. Eliz. vol. 157, No. 84. 

8 S. P. D. Eliz. vol. 149, No. 58. In 1584 (cf. S. P. 
D. Eliz. vol. 177, No. 55) they gave a list of 14 ships ; 
8 of the names are the same as in the previous list, the 
following are new — 

1. The Samaritan ot 140 tons burden, with 30 men. 

2. The Mary Rose of 130 tons burden, with 28 men, 

3. The Alice Thomas, of 140 tons burden, with z8 
men. 

4. The Margaret Bonaventxtra, of 120 tons burden, 
with 26 men. 

5. The Red Lion, of 150 tons burden, with 30 men. 

6. The Trinity Bear, of 140 tons burden, with 20 
men. 

So obviously an increase in shipping in the space of 
three years. For lists of ships, see Appendix V. 
» 5. P. D. Eliz. vol. 149; No. 58. 



1 




THE FOUNDING OF THE LEVANT COMPANY, 

1592 

In 1588 the Charter of the Turkey Company 
was not renewed. Some of the merchants 
were rather disheartened ^ by the great 
expense of having to maintain an Ambassador 
at Constantinople. They were even pre- 
pared to have him recalled and end the 
traffic. But the counsel of Harborne and 
the more enterprising spirits prevailed, and 
during the next three years the members 
of the old Company negotiated with the Privy 
Council for a renewal of their patent. They 
sought larger powers than their previous 

• Cf. a letter from Harborne (who had returned to 
England in 1588) to Walsingham, dated London, Feb- 
ruary 17, 1588-9, in Turkey Papers, Bundle /, in which 
he says : " Some of those trading to Turkey, Right 
Honorable, had conference with me this day for the 
return of the agent from Constantinople, whereby they 
might be unburthened of the great charge, and so end 
the traffic." 



26 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

charter gave them, and to this the Venice 
Company objected. Their own charter came 
to an end in 1589, but even before that they 
registered their protest against giving en- 
larged powers to their rivals.^ What they 
chiefly objected to was the wish of the Turkey 
merchants to trade in Candia, which they 
regarded as lying within their sphere of 
influence. But their objection to this was 
more or less conditional ; for they made it 
clear that they would be agreeable if they in 
their turn were allowed to trade in Turkey, 
asserting that they had a licence from the 
Grand Signior even before the Turkey mer- 
chants had received theirs— a statement for 
which it is difficult to find proof. However, it 
became pretty clear that there was over- 
lapping to a large extent in the operations of 
the two companies. They both exported 
and imported the same commodities. There 
was however this difference : that while the 
Turkey merchants were unmolested by extra- 
ordinary exactions in Turkey, the Venetian 
traders had to pay heavy impositions,^ which 

* S. P. D. Eliz. vol. J57, No. 84. 
» Cf. S. P. D. Eli!, vol. 233, No. 14. 



w 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 27 

impeded the growth of their trade. On the 
other hand the Turkey Company were ham- 
pered by having to bear the expenses of the 
embassy at Constantinople. Still on the 
whole there might perhaps be a gain all round 
if the two sets of merchants combined. This 
feeling must have gained strength because 
it soon became apparent that the two Com- 
panies joined forces in negotiating with the 
Council. Thus, " the merchants trading Tur- 
key and Venice " appeal to the Lord High 
Treasurer of England,* saying that they had 
long been suitors to him " for uniting the 
Turkey and Venice Companies into one body 
politic," and asking him to be mediator with 
her majesty for them that they might obtain 

On a Hundredweight of currants, they had 

to pay 10 Ducats =50S. 

On a Butt of a wine they had to pay 6 

ducats =3os. 

On a Hundredweight of tin, they had to 

pay 20 Ducats =^5- 

On a Hundredweight of wool, they had to 

pay 30 Ducats =£7 los. 

On a Broad of Cloth they had to pay 7 

Ducats =35s. 

On a Pair of Kerseys, thej' had to pay 2 

Ducats =iOs. 

r* 5. P. D. Eliz. vol. 239, No. 40. 



THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



letters patents " in such form and order 
mentioned in the annexed articles, to us the 
undernamed of both Companies." ^ 

^ The Letter is endorsed: "The humble petition of 
the merchants trading Tiirkey and Venice for confirma- 
tion of their trade, uniting them in one patent," It is 
signed simply " The merchants trading Turkey and 
Venice." There is no date ; the calendarer has assigned 
the document to 1591. I believe this to be too late. 
I would suggest 1589 (see below). 

There do not follow any articles — the letter talks of 
"annexed articles." But I have found two drafts of 
articles elsewhere, and I would suggest that one of 
these drafts accompanied this letter. The calendarer 
has separated the three documents. 

A. TheLetter(S. P. D. EUz. vol. 239, No. 40). Cf. 
Appendix VIII, No. 3. 

B. A document (S. P. D. Eliz. vol. 151, No. 34) 
entitled, "Articles of the merchants trading 
Turkey and Venice to be incorporated into one 
body by the name of Merchants of Levant." 
Cf. Appendix VIII, No. 3 (page 252). 

C. A document (S. P. D. Eliz. vol. 231, No. 5.")) 
very similar to the last, enumerating the same 
points, with only one addition, and endorsed, 
"The Articles of the privileges desired of her 
majesty by the merchants for trade into Tnrkey 
and the Seigniory of Venice." See Appendix 
VIII, No. 3 (page 256). 

The date of document C can be fixed. It must have 
been written in 1589, as appears from the name of Sir 
John Hart, who sigus himself " Lord Mayor." He was 
Lord Mayor of London in 1589. Cf, S. P. D. Eliz. 
vol. 229, No. I. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



29 



!It would seem that the wished-for patent 
was not easily forthcoming. For the mer- 
chants used their best efforts to set forth the 
advantages to the realm which they had 
been instrumental in obtaining, either directly 
or indirectly. In a letter dated June 18, 
1590 ^ they urge on Cecil ' how they had been 
useful politically, in that their agent had 
frustrated the designs of the King of Spain. 
They relate the story at length. It appears 
that the subjects of the King of Spain in the 
Straits had obtained from the pope a special 

It is clear by comparing the list of names at the end 
of documents B and C that document C is subsequent 
to document B. For in B Mr. John Hart and Mr. 
Richard Martin are named ; in C they are both knights. 
My suggestion is that document A^ — the Letter— was 
accompanied by either documents B or C (being the 
" annexed articles " which are mentioned in the letter). 
1 either case 1591 (as the calendarer suggests} would 
e too late for its date. I would put it at 1588 or 1589. 
I have not been able to iix the year in which Sir 
fiUchard Martin or Sir John Hart was knighted. In 
Btuiy case it would appear that already in 1589 the two 
f companies combined to obtain a charter which would 
unite them. It is worthy of note also that their sug- 
gestions, which are evidently embodied in documents 
B and C, were adopted in the charter of 1592. 
' 5. P. D. EHx. vol. 332, No. 54. 
^ "Your honour '■ is the person addressed. 



30 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

Bull granting peculiar privileges to such as 
would leave legacies for the maintenance of 
an army of 30,000 men for the defence of those 
dominions against tlie Turk. This army 
was to be employed in no other service save 
only when there was peace with the Grand 
Seignior. Now in 1588 the King of Spain 
wanted to have the use of these soldiers 
against England. He therefore sent a special 
envoy to make a treaty of peace with the 
Sultan, The English ambassador " twice re- 
pulsed " the Spanish envoy, and so, the 
merchants point out, was doing work for her 
majesty.* They beg therefore, " to have an 
end of this tedious suit by granting our 
privileges." In spite of this Cecil was cir- 
cumspect. He wished to have full particulars 
of the trade in order to see whether it was 
really worth while to continue it. He accord- 
ingly issued a series of questions to each of 
the Companies, the tenor of which may be 



* See 5. P. D. Eliz. vol. 232, No. 54. Richard 
Staper was then ambassador, and he tells the story 
again in S. P. D. James I , vol. 15, No. 4 (see below, 
p. 56), and gives the name of the Spanish envoy as John 
Stephano. 



^^pteei 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 31 

n from the answers received.* Both Com- 
panies were asked as to the extent of their 
trade and their shipping, the amount they 
paid in customs, the area over which their 
trade extended and the commodities they 
dealt in. The Venetian Company were also 
asked to specify the exactions laid upon them 
in Venice. 

In the meantime, when it became known 
that the merchants of both Companies were 
asking for renewed privileges to only a limited 
number of persons*" petitions'* were sent 

■ Answer of the Turkey Company, S. P. D, EHz. 
vol. 233, No. 13, Answer of the Venetian Company, 
S. P. D. EHz. vol. 233, No. 14. Both are dated July 
16, 1690. Cf. above, p. 18 for particulars as to the 
Turkey Company. The Venice Company set forth 
that they employ yearly ten or twelve ships for Venice, 
Corfu, Zant, Cephalonia and Candia, their biggest bur- 
den being 350 tons, their smallest 160 tons, and they 
carry 550 men. They also give the impositions which 
the Venetians demand of them. For these impositions, 
see note (3) on p. 26 above. 

^° Forty-one names are mentioned in document C 
{S. P. D. EHz. vol. 231, No. 55), and thirty names in 
document B (S. P. D. EHz. vol. 151, No. 34). 

" Cf. S. P. D. EHz. vol. 239, No. 41 {dated June 18, 
1591). No. 42, No. 43, No. So. In No. 43 the calendarer 
has in square brackets after the words " company in- 
tended for Levant Seas " the following, " or Tripoli 



32 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

to the council to protest against limiting the 
membership of the Company. The petitions 
seem to regard the merchants as a kind of 
clique against whose monopoly they are 
opposed. One petition ^* even asserts that 
it can be proved that those who first sought 
the privilege of the Turkish trade were not 
the first to discover it, and furthermore, 
that fifty years ago more English merchants 
participated in the trade than in that day. 
The same petition affirms that those who 
seek to exclude all others from the freedom 
are such as least need the freedom themselves, 
being also free of the Dantzig and Muscovy 
Companies, very rich and few in number. 

Company." This is an error, and quite unnecessary. 
The Levant Company is of course meant, and indeed, 
is mentioned. 

In No. 80 there is an endorsement, "objections 
against the Tripoli merchants." This is obviously a 
shp of the pen, and it may have led the calendarer 
astray in her note to No. 43. That it is nothing but 
a slip is clear from the preamble of the document : 
" Whereas it hath pleased her majesty to grant 
two patents for uniting the Company of Tripoli 
and the traders of Venice for establishing a society 
for the continuing of trade into Turkey, and to all 
the Venetian dominions," etc. 
^ S. P. D. EU2. vol. 239, No. 41. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 33 

It is interesting to note that one reason 
why these " outsiders " wish to be admitted 
was the decay of the trade with France and 
Spain on account of the " troubles." ^^ Be- 
sides which the trade was good'* and there- 
fore it was unfair to hmit it to a few persons, 
especially as there were so many merchants 
in the realm who were just then anxious to 
enter a new field. It is also pointed out that 
if more merchants were admitted into the 
Company it would make it easier to bear the 
burden of the expenses arising from the 
ambassador's and consul's charges. One 
petition'^ asserts that there is no unanimity 
among the merchants themselves ; some 
would have the new company a close cor- 
poration, refusing to admit new blood at all ; 
others would admit only a very few persons ; 
while others again would have all enter who 
wish to do so upon their paying a reasonable 

r entrance fee. 
. As was to be expected the merchants of 

" J?. P. D. EKz. vol. 239, Nos. 41, 42, 43. 80. 

1* S, P. D. EUz. vol. 230, No. 80 : " It is well known 
that the parts of Italy and Turkey will bear a greater 
trade than all parts of Christendom now in amity with 

- majesty." " 5. P. D. EUz. vol. 239, No, 80, 



r 



34 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

both Companies issued a counter petition ' " 
to these claims. They laid stress on the 
large amount of money they had expended 
in the trade, on the fact that their enterprise 
had been the means of encouraging builders 
of ships and had therefore given work to 
many people both as sailors and otherwise, 
and that it had tended to increase her majes- 
ty's customs. They then proceeded to show 
that a trade may be overcharged, and in- 
stanced the Barbary trade as a case in point. 
That trade, they asserted, was overthrown 
by having too many merchants participating 
in it ; and so, in like manner, if the petitions 
of the grumblers were listened to, the same 
fate would overtake their own trade. As it 
was there were already too many in it — " the 
one half of us already traders are too many." 
Nor was it true that they were unable to 
support the trade ; and they ended up with 
a threat to withdraw from the trade altogether 
if others were allowed to enter the new 
company. 

1* 5. P. D. Eliz. vol. 239, No. 44. See Appendix 
VIII. No. 4. The names appended to the document 
include members of both the Turkey and the Venice 
Companies, 



r 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



35' 

But Burleigh appeared not to fear this 
threat and proceeded to seek independent 
evidence on the whole question. He there- 
fore asked the opinion of Sir John Hawkins 
and William Borough, who reported to him 
in a document dated August 3, 1591.^' They 
advised that the company should be a large 
one, including as many merchants as pos- 
sible. For if there were many merchants 
there would be many ships, and in those 
dangerous times it was advisable to have 
large numbers of ships, so that they might 
the better be able to defend themselves 
against attacks from the enemy. 

This report weighed with Burleigh more 
than the arguments set forth by the mer- 
chants themselves. In a paper'* hearing 
date August 14, 1591, which contains some 
rough notes by Burleigh, he has jotted down 
that a conference is to be held between some 
prominent merchants and Mr. Harbome, to 
settle one or two points as to the new charter. 
They were to agree to the persons who should 

named in the Charter, and to see to it that 

" S. p. D. EHx. vol. 239, No. 124. 
'* S. P. D. Eliz. vol. 239, No. 140. 



36 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

those so named had been traders in Turkey 
or in Venice. Yet these were by no means 
the only members to be admitted ; other 
merchants of abihty who were able and willing 
to bear the charges of the trade might also 
be enrolled. 

At last the new charter was issued, joining 
both companies into one. It bore date 
January 7, 1592,'* and was to be for twelve 
years. Fifty-three merchants were named 
and incorporated as "the Governor and 
Company of merchants of the Levant," with 
Sir Richard Osborne as the first Gk)vemor. 

" S. P. D. Eliz. vol. 241, No. II ; cf. also Hakluyt 
VI. p, 73 ff. Cf. also document in Turkey Papers, Bun- 
dle 2. (cf. also 5. P. D. James I. vol. 10, No. 27). 

The document in S. P. D. Eliz. is apparently a rough 
fonn of the patent to he granted. It nins to three 
sheets, is very carelessly written, and most difficult to 
read. It differs considerably in wording (but the sub- 
stance is the same) from Hakluyt's account. Hakluyt 
evidently transcribed the original charter. As for the 
document in Bundle 2 of the Turkey Papers, it also is 
apparently a rough copy, and like the document in 
5. P. D. Eliz. is very hard to read. It contains fifty- 
three names (as does the charter given by Hakluyt) as 
original members of the Company, while the document 
in .S'. P. D. Eliz. contains only forty-nine. The par- 
ticulars, however, are shorter than in the S. P. D. 
document. 



I 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 37 

lubsequent governors were to be elected by 
the general body of members, as also twelve 
assistants who appear to have formed the 
governing Committee of the Company. But 
although there were fifty-three names men- 
tioned in the patent as members, twenty 
others were also named who were to form 
fresh blood. Two of these should be ad- 
mitted for the mere asking and the others 
on payment of an entrance fee of £1:30. In 
addition to these, the members of the com- 
pany were empowered to admit their ser- 
vants, factors or agents " according as they 
or the most of them shall think requisite." 
And the Crown was to have the right, during 
the twelve years for which the charter ran, 
of appointing two merchants to be members 
of the company, such persons to enjoy the 
same rights and privileges as elected members 
possessed. 

The area in which the Company enjoyed 
the monopoly of trade was described as the 
dominions of the Grand Signior and those of 
Venice, including Zant, Cephalonia and Candia 
■ — in a word, the Levant, interpreting th*" 
term in a very broad sense, and also the E 



THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



Indies " lately discovered." Only members 
of the company and no others should have 
the right of trading in that sphere. 

The company was also given many privi- 
leges. It was to have six months time in 
which to pay customs dues — ^three months 
for payment of the first moiety and three 
months for the rest, the custom-house " re- 
ceiving good and sufficient bond or security 
to our use for the payment of the same accord- 
ingly." Furthermore, if any ship of the 
company should miscarry, the customs and 
other dues owing on account of such a ship 
shall be " allowed " the merchants. And 
customs were to be paid only once, so that if 
more goods were imported than could be 
sold in England, they might be exported for 
sale in neighbouring lands without further 
payment of any kind. The company also 
got permission to furnish four ships with men 
and ammunition to be allowed to sail " at 
all times during the said twelve years," 
presumably as a protection for the merchant- 
ships. But this permission did not extend 
to times of war. Moreover, the company 
might allow strangers to import Levant 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



39 



goods ; but without such permission those 
who were not free of the company were for- 
bidden to bring in currants and wines of 
Candia, on pain of severe penalties. In like 
manner all aliens were also forbidden to 
import Levant goods, an exception being 
made in favour of the Venetians. These 
would be allowed to import currants and 
wines of Candia so soon as the State of Venice 
removed the intolerable imposts on English 
goods brought to Venice and on Venetian 
goods carried from Venice by English mer- 
chants or in English ships.*" 

The Charter was granted for twelve years, 
but if it appeared at any time that the grant 
was not profitable to the country, the Charter 
might be recalled after eighteen months' 
notice. On the other hand, if the trade was 
prosperous, the Company's charter would be 
renewed lor a further term of twelve years. 

^* At the time the charter was granted these imposi- 
tions were still in force. Cf. 5. P. D. James I. vol. 
20, No, 35. 



THE HISTORY OF THE COMPANY FROM 1592 TO 
1605 

The Company appeared to have prospered ^ 
and so stirred up jealousy in mercantile 
circles. At least one petition is extant ' 
wherein it is shown that the Company is not 
altogether an unmixed blessing. " The profit 
they reap and take is grown so great that 
they are jealous of it and refuse to licence 
any one to import small fruit called currants 
or raisins of Corinth at less than {^^ a ton." 
But more than that. One reason, so the 
petition proceeds, that moved the Queen to 
grant a charter to the company was the 

^ Cf. S. P. D. Eliz. vol. 242, No. 36. Here is a list 
(dating from 1595) of commodities which ships of the 
company were bringing to England : raw silk, indigo 
blue, all sorts of spices, all sorts of chemicals, grogranes, 
chamblettes, cotton yarn, cotton wool, Turkey carpets, 
cotton doth and shawls. Cf. document in Turkey 
Papers, Bundle 3. 

" S. P. D. Eliz. vol. 242, No. 36. 



I 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



[tolerable impost on Englishmen and English 
ships which the Venetians levied. But the 
English merchants, says the petition, know 
how to avoid the Venetian imposts. For 
they bring goods into Venice from the islands 
where they buy them, and then ship the goods 
from Venice to England. Accordingly, since 
one of the chief causes for a charter exists no 
longer, the charter ought to be withdrawn, 
and it is this that the petitioners ask for, more 
especially as the continuance of the charter 
means a great loss to the customs. For 
strangers pay double customs, and if strangers 
were allowed to import Levant goods, the 
customs on currants alone would be £i,goo.^ 
Nor was it overlooked that these goods tended 
to become a monopoly in the hands of the 
Company. " The engrossing; of this traffic 
into these few men's hands increases the 
price of these kinds of wines, raisins and com- 
modities, the benefit whereof goeth but to a 
few." * 

This feeling of dissatisfaction must have 

* It is interesting to note that this document men- 
tions the amount of currants imported yearly — viz. 
a,300 tons. See below, p. 123. 
' * S. P. D. Eiiz. vol. 243, No. 3(3. 



42 THir EARLY HISTORY OF 

made itself very strongly felt. In a docu- 
ment " entitled, " Needful observations for 
maintaining of the Turkish intercourse " it 
is significant to find that mention is made of 
the possibility of adding to the numbers of 
the original merchants. "Forasmuch as the 
Turkey and Venice Company be incorporated 
into one fellowship, both for the setting out 
of the greater number of ships as no less for 
the more easy supporting of all needful 
charges, a competent number of mere mer- 
chants not free of that company, upon reason- 
able contribution towards their charge, might 
be adjoined to them . . . lest some of the 
wealthy sort deceasing ^ the rest might be 
unable to continue the same." 

Whether this actually took place we cannot 
tell since documents for the period between 
1592 and 1600 are scarce. But as far as 
can be gathered from the later statements, one 
thing is certain. The company was making 
itself very unpopular by levying five shillings 
and sixpence on every hundredweight of 

^ .S. P. D. Eliz. vol. 241, No. 13. Cf. also No. 12. 
* In the printed summary of the contents of this 
documciit the calendarer has " decreasing." 



■ THE LEVANT COMPANY 43 

currants brought into England by foreigners 
or by Englishmen not free of the Company. 
Even if the Company had had authority to 
raise this duty there would have been dis- 
satisfaction enough. But as a matter of 
fact, their charter gave them no such power,' 

' Cf. 5. P. D. James I. vol. 10, No. 27, which says 
that the Company imposed the duty " without any 
express warrant given them in their privileges." As 
the point is of considerable importance, since the whole 
issue tunis on the interpretation of the wording of the 
charter, perhaps it will be as well to quote Hakluyt's 
version (vol. (>, p. 84) in full. 

" And further that we plaiuly understand that 
the states and governors of the city and Seigniory 
of Venice have of late time set and raised a new 
impost and charge, over and besides their ancient 
impost, custom and charge of and ufx>n all maimer 
of merchandize of our realm brought into their 
dominions, and also of and upon all merchandize 
carried or laden from their said country or dominions 
by our subjects or in the ships or bottoms of any 
of our subjects to the great and intolerable charge 
and hindrance of our said subjects trading thither, 
we, therefore, minding the redress thereof, do also 
by these jjresents for us, our heirs and successors 
further straightly prohibit and forbid not only the 
subjects of the said state and Seigniory of Venice, 
but also of all other nations and countries what- 
soever other than the said Governor and Company 
of Merchants of the Levant, and such only as be 
or shall be of that company, their factors, servants. 



44 



THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



Accordingly an outcry arose ; and when 
Richard Carmarthen, an officer of the Custom 
House who appears to have had a good deal 
of influence, observed the impositions com- 
plained of, he took occasion to inform the 
Queen * of the large sums of money which 
the merchants levied, and pointed out that 
by so doing they wronged her, seeing that 
it was the Queen's prerogative to lay an 



1 

4 



agents or assigns : Thai they or any of ifiem, during 
the said term of 12 years, shall bring or cause 
to be brought into this our realm of England or any 
pari thereof, any manner of small fruits called cur- 
rants, being the raisins of Corinih, or wine of Candia. 
unless it be by and with the license, consent and agree- 
ma?U of the said Governor and Company in writing 
under their said common seal first had and obtained, 
upon pain, etc." 
Not a word is here said about the right of the Com- 
pany to tax foreigners or non-members. Yet document 
5. P. D. James /, vol. 10, No. 30 asserts that in the 
patent of the Venetian Company of 1583 there was a 
clause giving the company authority to tax Venetian 
goods, just as English goods were taxed in Venice ; and 
that this clause was repealed in the charter of 1592. Evi- 
dently this document is prejudiced in favour of the 
company. S. P. D. James I, vol. 20, No. 25 rightly 
says that the company's action in taking the duty was 
not warranted by its charter. 

f S. P. D. James J. vol. 10, No. 27. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 45 

imposition on merchandise.* The result was 
that the charter of the company was made 
null and void ^ " and the merchants were 
ordered to cease their trade in the Levant.^^ 
They replied in a humble petition dated 
July 12, 1600, that they submitted to her 
majesty's orders, but at the same time asked 
that they might " receive their trade anew 
from her majesty with a gracious and suffi- 
cient privilege." '^ It was no easy thing 
for them to cut themselves off from so profit- 
able a source of income. Besides, the mem- 
bers of the company had property ^^ in Turkey 

' S. P. D. James I, vol. 20, No. 35. 

" S. P. D. James I. vol. 10, No. 30. It is curious 
to note that in a document which the company issued 
(S. P. D. James I. vol. 6, No. 69) it is asserted that 
" our said patent (of 1502) was made void because we 
were named merchants of the Levant and should have 
been called merchants trading of the Levant " (!), while 
in another document (S. P. D. James I. vol. 4, No. 46) 
we read that " the company did voluntarily upon hex 
(Elizabeth's) death relinquish and give over their said 
grant upon pretence and allegation given forth from 
themselves that the same grant was a mere monopoly." 

" 5. P. D. James I. vol." 6, No. 69. Cf. also S. P. D. 
Elizabeth, vol. 275, No. 27, 

" Cf. also S. P. D. James I. vol. 6, No. 69. 

^^ S. P. D. James I. vol. 6, No. 69 : " Wherefore we 
made humble suit to her majesty to be restored of our 



46 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

and could not tell how to bring it home 
again. There was reason enough therefore 
why the company should wish to continue 
the trade. But there was reason enough also 
why the Government should like to have it 
continued. The impositions on the trade 
yielded the sum of £4,000 per annum/* and if 
the trade either ceased altogether or passed 
into the hands of new men, it was doubtful 
whether this large sum could be raised. 
Accordingly when the Company promised to 
pay the Queen the sum mentioned on condi- 
tion that they received a new grant, the Queen 
agreed, and on December 31, 1601 ^= a new 
charter of privileges was granted the com- 
pany to continue for fifteen years.'* But 

said trade, which we did chiefly in respect of our goods 
on the other side." 

" S. P. D. Eliz. vol. 275, No. 27. 

" 5. P. D. James I. vol. 10, No. 27. Cf. also vol. 
10, No. 30. 

" S. P. D. James I. vol. 10, No. 27 ; vol. 6, No. 6g ; 
vol. TO, No. 30 ; vol. 20, No. 25. 

I have not been able to discover this charter of 1601. 
But that the company paid the £4,000 appears from 
an entry in the payments received by the Exchequer. 
Cf. S. P. D. Eliz. vol. 285, No. 21, which says that 
£2,000 was received by the Exchequer from the mer- 
chants of the Levant in the forty-third year of Eliza- 



i 



■ THE LEVANT COMPANY 47 

they enjoyed the privilege for two years only, 
that it is to say, until James I came to the 
throne.^'' 

And so for two years there was no organized 
company ; the trade was open to every- 
body ; ^ " and the whole question of the 
Levant trade was under consideration.^" 
But one thing was certain. The £4,000 per 
annum which the company had recently been 
paying to the Crown was a very real loss to 
James, and he at once set about to make it 
good. On October 31, 1603,'" he issued an 

beth's reign (1601) and ;f2,ooo in the forty-fourth year 
{1602). 

" S. P. D. James I. vol. 6, No. 69. 

It does not seem quite clear from the documents 
why the company gave up their charter. We have 
already seen (p. 45, note (10)) two alleged reasons. In 
document S. P. D. James I. vol. 6, No. 69 it is asserted 
that the charter ceased on the accession of James, 
because " all particular patents and monopolies were 
put down " then. In yet another document (S. P. D. 
James I. vol. 20, No. 25) we are told that on the death 
of the queen the company owed £2,000, due for half a 
year's rent and that they " considered together " to 
forfeit their patent, in order, as it would seem, to avoid 
pajrment of this debt. Perhaps this is the real reason. 

*^ S. P. D. James I. vol. 6, No. 69. Also voL 
ig, No. 4. 

i» 5. P. D. James I. vol. 6, No. 70. 
■ «o S. P. D. James I. vo!. 4, No. 46, 



48 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

order to the Lord Treasurer, saying that 
whereas the company had ceased to be, and 
the King had thus lost the rent they paid, " it 
is very fit and requisite that the same be 
re-supplied unto the Crown by some lawful 
and convenient means as may repair so great 
a decay to his majesty's customs." The 
Lord Treasurer was accordingly authorized 
to impose a duty of five shillings and sixpence 
on every hundredweight of currants, five 
shillings on every barrel of oil and thirty 
shillings on every Butt of Muscadelles im- 
ported into the country. These taxes were 
not collected directly but were farmed out 
at a yearly rent of ;£5,322.^^ 

The old traders regarded this as a grievance 
and petitioned ^^ to be relieved of the taxes. 
They pointed out that it was they who had 
discovered the trade and had continued it at 
great cost to themselves ; furthermore, the 
trade was advantageous to the country in 



21 Cf. S. P. D. James I. Docqm/s. No. 7 under date 
October 24, 1604. " Grant to Sir Roger DaJlison and 
Richard Wright of the impost on currants for ten years 
at the yearly rent of ;£.'5,322." 

2- S. P. D. James I. vol. 10, No. 23 



w 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 49 

that various English commodities were taken 
to foreign markets and English shipping 
thereby increased. And if the trade was to 
be continued, there must be an Ambassador 
and Consuls in the Levant, which meant great 
expenditure, Hence, what with the new tax 
at home, and the ill-treatment of English 
traders at the hands of the Venetians,'" 
unless relief were granted them, they would 
be forced to leave the trade. 

Something was done. They were dis- 
charged of a debt of £5,000,^* which they 
owed to the King, upon their bonds to pay 
^the impositions which had been fixed." 
m But still the traders were dissatisfied. 

«^ Cf. 5. P. D. James I. vol. 6, No. 60. 

The ill-treatment of the English at the hands of the 
Venetians was a constant theme of complaint, and the 
English traders sought to make it quite clear how much 
worse off they were, by compihng tables of expenditure. 
For one or two such calculations, see Appendix VIII, 
No. 5, page 262. 

" S. P. D. James I. vol. 20, No. 25. 

** S. P. D. James I. Docquets, No. 7, under date 
November 10, 1604. The extent of the debt is not 
given here, but it is quite clear from S. P. D. James I. 
vol. 20, No. 25, also from vol. 10, No. 27, Later on 
^t appears that the king asked for a repayment of this 

nission. Cf. S. P. D. James I. vol. 20, No. 25. 



r 



50 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

Tliey reasserted ^^ that the trade could only 
be carried on effectively when an ambassador 
resided in Constantinople. Furthermore they 
complained that the impositions made no 
difference between Englishmen and foreigners, 
so that it would be easy for the latter to drive 
out the English from the trade. Especially 
easy would this be for the Venetians, since the 
English had to pay double impositions, once 
here and once in Venice. And so the English 
traders asked that strangers should be forced 
to pay double impositions in England. 

To all these points the King replied that 
the trade was so extensive that it could 
easily bear all taxation." As to making 
distinctions between native and foreigner, it 
was without a precedent. Besides, if a differ- 
ence were made the Venetians would be the 

=* Cf. S. P. D. James I. vol. 10, No. 29. 

*' Cf. S. P. D. James I. vol. 10, No. 34, where the 
statement is made that if the merchants go on per- 
sisting that they cannot maintain the ambassador and 
consuls if the impost is continued, the king himself 
should maintain them. " By which course the main- 
tenance of the ambassador shall be more honorable 
in the king than it was in the merchants, all foreign 
nations disgracing the ambassador in Turkey as a 
stipendiary oi the merchants and maintained by them." 



i 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 51 

only strangers to suffer, seeing that they were 
the only foreigners who imported currants 
into England ; and very soon they would 
retaliate by levying still another imposition 
on the English and then there would be an 
everlasting tariff war.^^ 

There seems to have been good reason for 
the complaint of the English merchants as 
to their treatment by the Venetians. The 
Venetians were anxious to drive the English 



'8 Cf. S. P. D. James I. vol. 10, No. 32 : "But if 
his majesty should lay a double imposition upon the 
Venetian only, intending thereby to help the trade of 
his own subjects, let it be considered what the sequel 
thereof might be : first, the commodity, viz., the cur- 
rants, is a native commodity of the Venetians, growing 
in their own dominions. And although for the good 
of their own state they have laid an imposition there- 
upon, yet have they no otherwise dealt with his majesty's 
subjects than with all other strangers. If therefore 
his majesty shaU single out them, above all other nations, 
to pay a greater rate for their own native commodities 
which they shall bring hither in trade of merchandize, 
than other merchants do, it will teach them (which are 
apt enough) to take occasion to redouble the same im- 
position upon EngHsh merchants, and give all other 
strangers leave to trade the same at better rate, by 
which means the English merchants shall be sure to 
be utterly worn out of the trade — where they are now 
as able to trade as any other nation." 



52 THE EARLY HISTORY OE 

from the lucrative trade in currants "^ and 
began by levying taxes on English traders in 
currants, and currants, be it noted, was the 
staple of the Anglo-Levant trade. The Vene- 
tians could do this effectively because the 
lands where currants grew were under Venetian 
rule. There were three places " for the whole 
growth of currants " ^^ — Zant, Cephalonia 
and Patras. Zant and Cephalonia were Vene- 
tian islands, while Patras in the Morea was 
under Turkish rule.^^ Finding that the im- 
positions were of no avail to drive off the 
English, the Venetians made Venice the 
centre of the currant trade. ^* Now as Venice 
lay out of the way for ships trading to the 
Levant, this became a hardship. In addition 
to this the Senate decreed that no foreign ship 
should lade currants unless it brought with 
it to Venice the wares of its country to the 
extent of two-thirds of its freight. 

*^ 5, P. D. James 1. vol. lo, No. 29. 

*" S. P. D. James I. vol. 10, No. 26. 

^i Patras was estimateri to yield about 400 tons of 
currants yearly, but the Patras currants were not so 
good as the currants of Zant and Cephalonia, and sold 
cheaper by two shiUings or three shillings a hundred- 
weight. Cf. 5. P. D. James 1. vol. 10, No. 26. 

3* Cf. also S. P. D. James I. vol. 6, No. 69, 



* 



I 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 53 

Altogether, then, the state of the trade 
was wholly unsatisfactory. It was unor- 
ganized ; it suffered not only from the com- 
petition of the Venetians but also from that 
of the newly-founded East India Company.^' 
For whereas before, all spices, silks and other 
Eastern goods had been brought through 
Persia into Turkey and thence to England, 
they were now brought to England direct 
from the Indies. It became clear that some- 
thing would have to be done if the trade was 
to continue in a healthy condition. Salis- 
bury evidently tried to get expert advice on 
the whole matter. For there is a letter ^* 
of his extant, dated September 8, 1605, and 
addressed to the Chief Justice, asking his 
advice about various questions of trade, 
including also the trade of the Levant. What 
he specially wanted to know was whether it 
would be better to form a limited company 
for the Levant trade or for the trade to be 
thrown open to all. Salisbury himself said 
that he rather favoured an open company, 
free to all on payment of an entrance fee of 

» Cf. 5. P. D. James I. vol 10. No. 27. 

' S. P. D. James I. vol. ig, No. 54. 



54 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

£25, which, in his view, would cover all the 
debts of the old company, and the expenses 
which had grown up since the last charter 
lapsed. 

But Salisbury must have asked for infor- 
mation as to the general state of the trade 
also, for there is a letter from Richard Staper,^^ 
dated July 8, 1605, giving a lengthy account 
of the trade and what it meant for the coun- 
try. Staper was one of the oldest of the 
Levant merchants ; the first charter of Ehza- 
beth for trade into Turkey, was issued to a 
very few merchants, of whom he was one f^ 
he had been in Turkey as early as 1578,^^ 
and was thus well qualified to give an opinion 
on the question. He strongly advocated the 
continuance of the trade and pointed out that 
the greatest hindrance to its success was the 
continued imposition on currants.'^ Of the 
advantages which arose to the country from 
its continuance, the greatest in his view was 

»s S. P. D. James I. vol. 15, No. 4. 

" Cf. S. P. D. James I. vol. 10, No. 27 ; No. 30 ; 
and see also above, p. 16. 

3' 5. P. D. James I. vol. 15, No. 4. 

^* He gives a list of thirty-one ships, and also their 
burden. See Appendix V, p. 235. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 55 

the growth of shipping/* the increase of 
sailors, and the consequent increasing of the 
forces of the country.^" The company had 
been instrumental in setting to work more 
than 40,000 persons to make fustians ; they 
had also been the means of freeing Christian 
captives in Turkey. On the other hand, 
Staper was not slow in pointing out what 
harm might ensue if the intercourse with 
Turkey were broken off. Apart from the fact 
that the English navy would suffer and the 
number of English sailors (for whom a great 
number of houses had of late years been buUt 

^* " It is very strange that this trade should be so 
much overburdened, more than any other, being the 
most beneficial trade that is in this land for maintenance 
of great shipping, increase of skilful mariners, setting 
awork above 100,000 people in divers parts of this 
land by making of fustians which hath been brought 
in by our industry and charge." S. P. D. James I. 
vol. 15, No. 4. 

*" Staper says, "The use and trade of merchants, 
what good it doth is seen by the flourishing estates of 
Italy, HoUand and Zeland, whereby they, our neigh- 
bours, have much increased their shipping, which the 
French doth imitate. Therefore under ymu: honour's 
correction we think it shall be for the safety of this 
kingdom to be stiU furnished with shifts and mariners, 
thereby to be masters of tlie seas as heretofore we have 



56 



THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



at Wapping, Redcliffe, Limehouse and other 
places) would fall off, the King would lose 
the income derived from import and export 
duties. Furthermore, if the trade were once 
lost, it would be lost irrecoverably, to say 
nothing of the loss of all the money and labour 
spent during the whole of the previous decade. 
But even leaving out of account these econo- 
mic results, Stapers hinted at political conse- 
quences. He tells the story to which refer- 
ence has already been made " of the King of 
Spain attempting to make peace with the 
Sultan, and how he (Staper) had frustrated 
the attempt, What happened in 1588 might 
happen again, and if England broke off inter- 
course with the Turk, the Sultan might more 
easily incline to ally himself with Spain. 
Accordingly the continuance of trade was 
some guarantee that the Spanish forces men- 
tioned in Staper's story would not be set 
free for use against England. Curious too, 
as throwing some light on the state of religious 
feehng in England at that time is Staper's 
appeal for the continuance of the intercourse 
with Turkey on account of the great freedom 

" P. 30, above. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



57 



wet conscience which the Turks allow alt Chris- 



^^Krfct 
^^Btiani 

^^^ft Now if the trade was to be continued, an 
^^^H&mbassador and consuls would have to be 
^^^BiDaaintained as before, and for this some organi- 
^^^TlKition was clearly necessary. All things 
seemed to point in the direction of continuing 
the Company. But the King was deter- 
mined to have no monopoly *^ of the trade 
nor to reserve it for any limited nuniber of 
merchants.** And so, when the new charter 
was issued, on December 14, 1605, it was no 
narrow clique that was formed into the 

» Levant Company. 
The aim of this, the first perpetual, charter 
may perhaps be best expressed in the words 
! *" " And notwithstanding that the Turks in general 
be a most wicked people, walking in the works of dark- 
ness . . . yet notwithstanding do they jiermit all 
Christians, both Greeks and Latins, to live in their 
religion and freely to use their conscience, allowing 
them churches for their divine service, hoth in Con- 
stantinople and very many other places, whereas to the 
contrary by proof of 12 years residence in Spain I can 
truly affirm, we are not only forced to observe their 
popish ceremonies but in danger of life and goods. . . ." 
« 5. P. D. James I. vol. 20, No. 25. 
** This notion is expressed in the charter of the 
Company. See Appendix I. page 154. 



58 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

of a warrant addressed to the Lord High 
Treasurer.^^ " James, by the Grace of God, 
etc. . . . Whereas ... we have of late 
taken a course to enlarge the liberty of the 
trade of the Signicry of Venice and the 
dominions of the Grand Signior (which hereto- 
fore have been enjoyed only by certain parti- 
cular merchants of our city of London) and 
to lay the same open to aU our loving subjects 
within the realm of England trading merchan- 
dize, to be enjoyed by them under such a form 
of Government and contribution of charge 
as themselves have conceived and resolved 
to be fit." 

** 5. P. D. James I. vol. 17, No. 35. It is dated 
December 13, 1605, and asks the Treasurer to pay tlio 
Governor and Company of merchants then incorporated 
for trade to the Levant Seas the sum of £5,322. for n 
present to the Grand Signior. 

In S. P. D. James I. vol. 20, No. 25 it is asserted 
tliat it was the old members of the Company who sug- 
gested to James that he should grant them a fresh 
charter, and that they would be satisfied if two con- 
ditions were observed : (i) that the king give them 
£5,333 for the present to the Sultan, and (2) that all 
merchants admitted to the company should pay an 
entrance fee of £25. By means of these entrance fees 
it was intended to raise £8,000, the debt of the ambassa- 
dor in Turkey. Both these conditions were fulfilled. 
See Charter, Appendix I, 



r 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



59 

The charter *" itself, (a verbose document) 
makes this abundantly clear in the preamble. 
We are there told that King James wished 
the Levant trade to flourish, but there was 
to be no monopoly in it. Seemingly the 
King was not alone in this ; the merchants 
also inclined to that view.*' The broad out- 
hnes of the grant were considered at a Con- 
ference held between royal commissioners 
and those merchants who wished to enter the 
Company. One hundred and nineteen names 
were enumerated in the charter as forming the 
nucleus of the present company, but this 
number was not limited. Elaborate regula- 
tions were laid down for admitting others. 
Any Enghsh subject who was a merchant, 
and over the age of twenty-six, might be 
admitted on payment of £2$, provided he 
made application before the next Feast of the 
Annunciation. If he did not and applied 
after that date, the entrance fee would be ;^50. 
This rule held good with regard to those who 
wished to enter the Company on the occasion 

*' The charter is given in full in Appendix I. 
; " Cf. S. p. D. James I. vol. 20, No. 25, and note 
ks) on p. 58. 



62 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

chants of England trading into the Levant 
Seas. It was made a legal person and was 
allowed to use a common seal. At the head 
of the organization stood the Governor, who 
was elected annually at the general meeting 
of members, which was prescribed to be held 
within the first 14 days of February. 
The Governor was to be aided by 18 
assistants, who were likewise to be elected 
annually from among the members who lived 
in London. The Governor and Assistants 
formed a kind of executive Committee. In 
addition, there was to be a deputy Governor, 
who must live in London, and a local deputy 
Governor in every town where there were 
members of the company. The local deputy 
governors remained in office at the pleasure 
of the company. Power was likewise given 
to the company to appoint their own consuls.^" 



^" Cf. Account, etc. {see note (10) 011 p. 4), pp. 5 and 6, 
where the anonymous writer accounts for the conferring 
of such powers upon a trading company, by considering 
the peculiarities of the Levant trade. The Turkisli 
government, he says, is essentially different from any 
other government, despotic in its nature, and approached 
only like all oriental peoples, through the medium of 
presents and particular influences. No intercourse can 



par 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 63 

;ese officers must be members of the com- 
pany and were to live in the respective towns 
to which they were sent. There they should 
have authority over all English merchants, 
whether members of the company or not, 
administering justice to them and acting as 
arbitrators in case of need.^^ 

Besides the annual meeting in February, 
the company had the right to meet at any 
other time for the consideration of any special 
questions and for the making of laws and 
regulations. The company had pretty ex- 
tensive powers to punish any breaches of its 
regulations, and if need arose, it might call 

be carried on with tlie natives witli any security to thp 
Westerns unless under certain refjuiations called Capitu- 
lations. By the terras of these capitulations all causes 
of dispute in which a Western is concerned must be 
determined by interference of the ambassador or consul. 
Now the English Levant Company paid these officials ; 
therefore it was perhaps only reasonable tliat they 
should have their appointments In their own hands. 
*i " In early times it would seem that the consul was 
a magistrate elected by the merchants to watch over 
their interests at a foreign port and to govern the little 
colony resident in a foreign land rather than what he 
afterwards became— an officer appointed by the state 
to represent the commercial interests of its subjects at 
the seat of a foreign government." V. S. P. I, Intro- 
' KtioQ, p. 56. • 



I 64 THE EARLY HISTORY OE fl 

' on the civil authorities to back it up by the ^H 

arm of the law. It had the right, too, of ^H 
levying duties on Levant merchandise, either 

1 exported or imported. And, of course, only 

members of the company had the privilege 

(of trading in the Levant area.^^ This privi- 
lege appears to have been jealously guarded, 
and breaches were punished by the seizure 
of the offender's goods to the extent of 20 
' per cent, of their value. To hedge round this 

(privilege still more the Custom House officers 
were to levy duties only on goods for the 
Levant which belonged to members of the 
company.^' 

•"^ This area covered (roughly) the Eastern portion 
of the Mediterranean Sea, 

^3 It is interesting to note that the company ap- 
peared to be satisfied with this charter until the year 
1632. In that year it was discussed at a meeting of 

I the Court of Assistants [Minutes, February 14, 1632) 

I whether to petition the king to renew the charter " the 

same being conceived to be defective in some main 
material points." It was decided that " it were very 

1 requisite to have the charter renewed." This recora- 

mendation was brought before the General Court of 

I Members {Min. February 20, 1632) and accepted. A 

committee was appointed to consider the clauses of the 

charter and to suggest improvements. But it appears 

that nothing came of this. 

Tlie only other charter issued to the company was 



■ THE LEVANT COMPANY 65 

that of Charles II, which bore date April 2, 1661. It 
states that whereas " m these late years of libertinism 
many of the known privileges of the company had been 
violated," the company had petitioned to have their 
powers confirmed. This the charter did. The pre- 
amble re-states the points of James' charter as to the 
name of the Society, as to its being a legal person, as 
to its seal, its officers, the admittance of members, its 
meetings, and its authority to levy duties on goods. 
All these are confirmed by the charter of Charles and 
other (new) points of importance are added. The 
principal are these : (i) The company was given the 
right of levjang duties on aliens, such duties to he 
double of what members of the company paid. [2) Eng- 
hsh subjects living or trading in the lands within the 
influence of the company should be subject to English 
justice and not to native justice. Should they show 
themselves stubborn in this matter, power was given 
to the company or its officers to transport such culprits 
to England, where they would be dealt with according 
to their deserts. (3) The company might administer 
oaths to " all merchants, factors, masters and pursers 
of ships " that they make a true entry of the goods on 
board their ships. (4) " And forasmuch as we are in- 
formed that many inconveniences have happened to 
the said trade by reason of too popular and general 
elections of officers for government thereof by persons 
not at all interested or concerned in the said trade. We 
therefore for us, our heirs and successors do will, ordain 
and grant to the said governor and company and their 
successors for ever by these presents, that no person or 
persons whatsoever of the said company, from hence- 
forth for ever hereafter, shall be admitted to vote or 
give any voice or suffrage in the election, nomination, 
choice and appointment of any officer or minister . . . 



66 THE LEVANT COMPANY 

unless such person or persons have or hath in his own 
name and for his own account traded in the said com- 
pany so far as to pay at least 40 shillings in imposi- 
tions to the said company towards the public charges, 
within one year next before such vote . . . and not 
otherwise/* (5) No person residing within the City 
of London, or within a radius of twenty miles from it, 
should be admitted into the company unless he were 
first a freeman of the city ; noblemen and gentlemen 
of quality to be excepted from this regulation. 



OFFICERS AND OFFICIALS OF THE COMPANY 

From 1605 the company had a permanent 
charter under the clauses of which, with 
slight alterations introduced later on, it was 
governed for over two centuries. It was in 
1821 that the English Government took over 
the whole of the establishment of the com- 
pany, the charter being finally surrendered 
in 1825. 

The vicissitudes of the company in the 
early years under the permanent charter are 
reflected in the Court Books/ of which for- 

• The Court Books contain Minutes of the Meetings 
of the court, and may be seen in the Public Record 
Office. But unfortunately the first book at the Record 
Office is not complete. The first portion is torn away, 
page 141 being the first page in the volume. The last 
page is numbered i86, so that a good deal of this first 
volume is gone. The first minutes recorded in this 
book are dated July 13, 1614. For the first nine years, 
therefore, under the permanent charter we do not know 
much. But after 1614 the Court Book is pretty full, 



68 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

tunately there are a goodly number extant. 
To begin with, the company had nine officials.^ 
The Governor stood at the head of the com- 
pany ; at his side were the deputy Governor 
and Assistants. The Treasurer had charge 
of the company's cash ; there was also a 
Husband, whose duty it was to keep the 
papers, bonds and seals of the company,^ as 
well as to pass the Bills of entry for goods on 
Ships * ; a Secretary ; a Bookkeeper ; and 
a Beadle. Later on auditors were elected. 
These are first mentioned in 1632 ^ as having 
been annually elected like the other officers. 
Before 1632 they were elected as required. 

Many of the men who held the position of 
Governor ^ appear to have been men of 
influence in their generation. Thus, Sir 
Thomas Lowe, who was nominated in the 
Charter of James I, as the first governor of 

and gives a very good view of the development of Hie 
company and of its policy. 

' The first list of officials is to be found in the Mimiles 
for February 14, 1614. 

3 CI Minutes, February 9, 1617. 

* Cf. Min. October 5, 1631. 

* Min. February 5, 1632. 

■ A full list of Governors is given in Ap]«ndix If. 
(page 211). 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 69 



I the re-constituted company, was also Gover- 
nor of the Company of Merchant Adventurers. 
He was re-elected annually untU his death in 
1623, when Mr. Alderman Hammersley was 
elected to succeed him.' As soon as he was 
duly elected, he received " the company's 
charter under the great seal of England 
together with a book wherein the same is fair 
written, and two ballotting boxes, a Bible, a 
I>ewter standish and a little mallet of ebony." 
U^^ Hammersley was afterwards Lord Mayor of 
^^M London (1628). He was also Governor of the 
^^P Muscovite Company. It appears that he did 
!^^^ not enjoy the complete confidence of the 
members of the Levant Company throughout 
the whole of his tenure of the governorship. 
In 1634,^ at the Court of Election, Hammersley 
declared that he had served the company 
faithfully for 12 years " and that notwith- 
standing all his care and pains taken to the 
best of his experience and understanding for 
the good and welfare of the general company, 
and maintenance of their privileges," there 
were some who were not satisfied, and so, he 
felt that he ought not to offer himself again 

' Min. May 8, 1G23. •* Min. February 3, 1634. 



70 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

for re-election. Besides which, he had great 
stress of other business, both for the city and 
for himself, weighing upon him ; and he must 
also consider his growing age. Accordingly 
he was willing to resign. The meeting there- 
upon nominated candidates for the office, 
eventually reducing their number to two. 
Hammersley being one and Alderman Garway 
the other. The election was by ballot, " each 
of those present came up to the table and took 
a ball and put it into the box, whereby the 
choice fell on Alderman Garway, he having 
26 balls and Sir Hugh but 20." " Garway who 
held office for nine years was Lord Mayor of 
London in 1639-40. 

It would appear that the Governor and his 
Deputy were at first honorary officials. It 
is not until 1617 ^" that mention is made of a 
grant to the Governor. Sir Thomas Lowe 
was re-elected to the office at that meeting, 
" and in respect to his pains and trouble in 
the affairs of this society it was now ordered 
that ... as a gratuity for the year past he 
should receive the sum of £too— which allow- 

* Min. February 3, 1634. 
'" Min. February 4, 1617. 



m 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 71 

ance he took kindly at the company's hands "' ' 
At the same meeting, Mr. Leate was chosen 
Deputy. But he refused to take office, plead- 
ing his age and the stress of his own private 
business. He was pressed, however, and 
eventually gave way. Whereupon he was 
voted a sum of 100 marks.** Later on it 
became customary to vote an allowance to 
the Governor, his Deputy and the Husband. 
Thus in 1629^* "a usual gratification" of 
jfioo was made to the Governor, jf8o to the 
Deputy and £50 to the Husband. Often the 
sum allowed was much larger. In 1636** 
;fioo is mentioned as the " fee " of the Gover- 
nor, which makes it clear that it was by that 
jtime looked upon as an established payment 
br services done. On this occasion a sum 
£200 was voted the Governor, £100 being 
described as a gratuity, over and above the 
fee. On another occasion, in 1639'^ the 
.Governor's grant was even larger. Garway 

' Surely an early example of the payment of ^ 
rector of a company for his services. 
" Mitt. February 4. 1617, 
*' Min. February 3. 1629. 
** Min. Februaiy 2, 1636. 
^^ Min. February lo, 1639. ] 



72 



THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



who was Lord Mayor of London in that year, 
was re-elected Governor of the company and 
a grant of £300 over and above his fixed allow- 
ance of £100 was voted him. The extra 
grant had to be thus divided : £100 was a fee 
for his extraordinary pains and ;f200 was 
towards furnishing his house— made neces- 
sary by the fact that he was Lord Mayor. 

These officials managed the affairs of the 
company at home. But the company had 
also to have responsible representatives in 
those places with which it had commercial 
dealings. And so there was an Ambassador 
residing at Constantinople and consuls and 
vice-consuls in various towns in the Levant.** 
The staff of the embassy included, besides 
interpreters, a treasurer and a preacher. 
The first Treasurer at Constantinople men- 
tioned in the minutes ^' is Mr. Stringer. His 
duty is laid down as having " to gather and 
collect all the consulage due to the Company, 
and to pay the same to the Ambassador." 

** For list of ambassadors to 1640, see Appendix III. 
For list of consuls, see Appendix IV, 

" Min. November 17, 1617. I^ter on there were 
Treasurers at the important centres of trade. Cf, Min. 
February 5, 1620. 



li «. 



» ; . . . \ » . 



THE LEv.^T :c^\l:'v^^ 

For his txtmhie je '.voiiid t^-.w : ': ^« • »i* 
OIL the consuiaci? oionev. /b\ h'u>;v h> *%.* 
a positiaii oi rmsr, and ::h'1'';'.i'1''.' '\'^' » ^ » 
frTi»nris at home vere -mp^cio »*i ^'«i, .\»va 
130 the ext«it oi -.:i)r *jer .uinuifi. 

At disc ttie cnmuanv ia«i .i ^v»uka . ...> 
at Conscmtinopie.-' Iru: j.s . v 
— tile Fngfts n :t:u:nv - -^^v^v 

preachers were ^ac :o oi\'* v*^^ ■-• 

Aleppo appears ro liave bvvi' •. v ■ - ^ ^* - 

so distingmshed. '*^ * U w-jl> .i,;t'.vv' * v 

preacher to .Uepco " jl> a '^m. u-. v. , m^, v 
the glory ot G^:d, thu* iv^niM'-'v^:' o: u .x-. 
poay ami the berioiii: oi t.'.v - '\s''' ' -i..-.-.: 
there," Five years ui:ci a u\[''A".'i sxi '^ 'v-- ■ 
Smyrna, that a prt\w he: Iv ^v'i»i '/u:^- -v^*. V 
candidate was chosv^ii aiul v*'\"iv\i I'u" inn-'. iwi 
fo" 5 years.-" Hoav\vpu\l u ojii:> -x-' i liu- 
salary in this case was ii\v\l .u I'tv- -imu .au- 
as it was at Alopjv : am» ivi ,iuuuui [\w 
Company gave him a tuv im«^^»u;v' v^^^i. ^^ul 
also ''somewhat towauU Uum.tuM:.; lum Uu 
his voyage." 



74 



THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



The position of the Ambassador was some- 
what anomalous. He received his salary 
from the Company and was in Constantinople 
in the first instance to look after the interests 
of the Company. But he had duties in the 
field of politics as well as in that of commerce. 
In so far then as he was a political agent, he 
was a servant of the King of England. There 
was this element in the position from the very 
earUest days of the Anglo-Turkish inter- 
course."^ In October, 1579, Elizabeth required 
a safe-conduct from "the Sultan which should 
cover all English subjects."" " At what time 
in like case the late Mr. Secretary Wilson 
commanded Harbrown in her majesty's name 
to perform his duty in that service, promising 
a consideration to be had of his travail and 
expense ; to achieve which exploit the said 

*' In Bundle I. 0/ Turkey Papers at the Public Record 
Office there are very many letters from Edward Barton, 
the Company's ambassador at Constantinople to Bur- 
leigh, letters of pohtical import and therefore for the 
most part in cipher. Likewise a large number — many 
of these also in cipher — from William Harbom to Sir 
Francis Walsingham. It may be interesting to note 
in passing that in Barton's cipher letters Libra stands 
for the Turkey Company. 

*s CI. S. P. D. Eliz. vol. 151, No. 33. 



I 

I du 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



75 



[arbrown defrayed one thousand five hundred 
ducats." This may be regarded as the first 
appointment to the office, and the words " in 
her majesty's name " are significant.^^ In 
a later document ^* " her majesty's ambassa- 
dor resident in those parts " is spoken of. 
Yet not the crown but the Company paid his 
salary."^ This made him rather looked down 
upon by his colleagues in Constantinople. 
Thus, the Venetian Ambassador writes home^* 
that Barton " is dependent on the English 
merchants who pay his salary and employ 
him in the interests of their trade," impl3'ing 

*• Cf. V. S. P. vol. 8. No. 132, wliere the Venetian 
Ambassador in Constantinople encloses a copy of the 
letter of EUzabeth to the Sultan, in which she says 
that she is sending William Harborn, one of her body- 
guard, to render thanks to his majesty and to estabhsh 
the working of the privileges (dated November 15, 
1582). 

" 5. P. D. Eliz. vol. 165, No. 56. There is no date 
to the document, but this does not afiect the point 
under consideration. 

** Cf. 5. P. D. Eliz. vol. 232, No. 54: "We have 
thought it our duty now likewise to remember your 
honour (hat the late ambassador and agent there resi- 
dent [in Turkey] hath at our only cost and charge twice 
repulsed the King of Spain's Ambassador sent to obtain 
a truce of the Grand Seignior." 

"' V. S. P. vol. 9, under date October 26, 1593. 



76 



THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



that his is not a position of great importance. 
Nor was the Venetian Ambassador far wrong. 
From a letter ^' dated 7 January, 1595, from 
Dr. Charles Parkins to Sir Robert Cecil, it 
may be plainly seen that first and foremost, 
the English agent was to represent the inter- 
ests of the Company at Constantinople. 
But the merchants were afraid that if the 
Sultan discovered that the ambassador was 
there for that purpose only, their men and 
goods would at once be imperilled. There- 
fore they arranged that Mr. Barton's com- 
mission should be made under the great seal, 
but only as a pretence.^^ Yet in the course 
of time the feehng must have grown that the 
English agent was a political agent. But the 
crown was slow in drawing the practical con- 
clusion from that and paying the agent's salary 
out of public money. In any case, there 

" S. P. D. Eliz. vol. 256, No. 18. 

** Cf. a document in Bimdln I. oj Turkey Papers, 
where the queen's agent is mentioned as being thought 
by the Sultan " to be only maintained by het majesty 
and that rather for causes of estate than of traffic." 

Cf. also S. P. D. James I. vol. 10, No. 34 : "All 
foreign merchants disgracing the ambassador in Turkey 
i a stipendiary of the merchants and maintained by 
them." 



THE lETAXT COiSCT.\XT 



ccnsczm: rjmriunT'rs- rtrox r.i3e 

J mc€^ es«CLiIIy afc> they >!i^c: v^v j\j^\ ^^y^^ 

IL Acre ais Tenr ziiinv ject^r? vV«r.;\yk"vc*sC vV x>.nx ^^nj^^t 
Im fiozxcle n. oce oi:o.ir.;srv: ;s«r^ii ^vt>x ^V v'^x: 

on UK: pcmt uixwr vX5scw?<£vv^v r VV> 
it is n g gtjf nl rhiir thien* t>e ;?cxx\lXxV ^v^v xW^.-k ^ x'^n^n 
set down &x- me nuLmtwuLavV o^ ;xV sV.^O\^viv^Ax xN^^v^ 
... lor that it l>arjf rx^tenxvl v^wx v*^ X\W^ ^^s^s^N^'^u 
tbey know not, or will r.ot ;vs;\vtK oJt xxVh^ x^x^H^MSy^ 
the hooQar of the priuvx* vHi^h; ;o N^ Tx"^ xx\S^n^^< 
your bononr long sinoe tvvk vv\K^ xx*,t(h 0^^ ^^^'^\>v^^nx 
tbat the Ambassador sluniKl Jww 4 ^m \>^\\ >\^^v>>s^ nM( 
all the goods that aMUoth i« : >k^ 0\>m ^x \h\^\x vN>v^\^ 
affiimeth that the merv^hAWt?^ ^m\><^u^^ h'^^h^ ^U^^Vi ^^^ 
your lordship, and jxTtorm not (>h^ XsM^u^ <\^xx\^h\I* iu^^. 
whereby sometimes wlieu \hva^hxm^ nM >a|VHV^^ ^x^I^ 
peneth (as in the anmtn* it \k^h xImKIi ho xXnM^IvIU Ow^ 
needful money, to his exfnntio jiiiot <uhl JuuvU^MUV wl 
the prosperous sucvx^ss \U' lus <U^u^^ . . v 

Sixthly. . . . the morv^h;u^f!fc ^ . ^ ^u Ihw U^\u .N'^^uV 
space would never luul in thoi\ htsulH t\^ jfciMul hiiu hm 
ordinary stipend of ^'jvk> rt \"xs\r rtH hi* |M^HUH^^»*j*kM 
had. ..." 

This state of aflfaii-s is U^^ue out by tht^ KojhmI of 
the Venetian amKnss;uloi\ l\ S. I\ vol 0, No, M|Ui 



78 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

the salary.^" The first Ambassador mentioned 
in the Minutes was Mr. Paul Pindar ^^ ; but 
as the Minutes recording his appointment 
are lost, we are unable to discover the terms 
of his appointment. His letters of recall 
bore date 25 Jan., 1617,^^ and his successor, 
Sir John Eyre, was elected at the court held 
on 1st August, 1619. His first letters home, 
bearing date 28 April, 8 May, and 17 June, 
were read at the court held on 4Aug., 1620.*' 

^ But before recalling an Ambassador the Company 
had to get permission from the Privy Council. Cf. 
Min. 24 September, 1617, and Min. 4 Feb., 1617. 

^^ Min. November 4, 1614. In later documents he 
is called Peter Pindar. 

'^ Min. February 4, 1617. 

^ It may he of interest to note how long, in those 
days, it took letters from the East to reach England. 
Here is an example or two : 

1. Letter dated November 18 from Aleppo, was read in 

Ixindon February 25. 

2. Letter dated Decemt>er 24 from Constantinople was 

read in London February 25. 

3. Letter dated January 25 from Aleppo, was read in 

London May 7. 

4. Letter dated September 7 fromPatras, was read in 

London May 25. 

5. letter dated January 26 from Smyrna, was read in 

London May 25. 

6. Letter dated May 28 from Patras, was read in Lon- 
don October 6. 



k 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 79 

The conditions of his appointment ^* were 
those which the company made with shght 
alterations in the case of all subsequent 
ambassadors. The company agreed to pay 
Sir John Eyre £300 towards his voyage and 
;f200 more for furnishing his house. As his 
salary he would receive 5,000 chequins ^^ 

7. Letter dated January 23 from Leghorn, was read in 
London March 15. 

8, Letter dated April 5 from Constantinople, was read 
in London June 20. 

g. Letterdated July II from Constantinople, was read 
in London September 23. 

These give but approximaU notions, for in each case the 
date on which the letter was read was in all probability 
not the day of its arrival in London ; the date given 
in the above table being the date of the meeting of the 
court at which it was read. It may possibly have 
arrived at an earlier date — though not much eariier ; 
and possibly the ship which brought it to England 
sailed some little time — though probably not much — 
after the letter was written. 

*^ Found in a document, No. 69, in a bundle at the 
Record Office, numbered F. A. Levanl Company, No. 
109. The bundle contains Royal Letters, instructions 
to agents and misceJlaneous notes bearing on the history 
of the Company from the earliest times to the year it 
was wound up. 

** From a document in Bundle I. of the Turkey Papers 
it would appear that a chequin was equivalent to a 
little over six shillings and eightpence. But there is 
no date to this document, so that it is impossible to 



8o THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

per annum o\'er and above what he could 
procure from the Grand Signior. In con- 
aderation of the allowance he should defray 
the cost of presents ^* out of his own purse. 
His chief business was to help to collect the 
consulage, " which is the means of discharging 
and paying the charges." 

Sir John Eyre did not occupy his position 
long ; he queurelled with the company and 
seized their money and property at Constan- 
tinople.^^ Whereupon negotiations were en- 
tered into with Sir Thomas Rowe, which 
ended successfxiHy. At a meeting of the 
court on 31 July, 1621,^^ Rowe was made a 
Freeman of the company and is spoken of as 
" the now elect ambassador." His terni of 
office expired in the spring of 1628, but already 
in 1626 ®^ Sir Peter Wiche was made free of 
the company and chosen successor to Rowe. 

fix this rate of exchange for any particular year. It 
must have been in Elizabeth's reign, for " her majesty " 
is mentioned in tlie document. In 1617 {Min. 24Sept., 
1617) a chequin exchanged for eight sliillings and six- 
pence. 

*• On presents, cf. Appendix VIII, No. i (p. 243). 

*' Cf. Min. June 14, 1621. 

'" See Minutes under this date. 

'* Cf. Min. March 6, 1626. 



! 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



pThe first letter of Wiche signifying liis arrival 
at Constantinople bore date 19, April, 1628, 
land was read at the Court held on 2 July 
I1628." 

The election of Wiche as Ambassador is 

linteresting as showing the interference of 

I Charles I and his high-handed treatment of 

I the Company. *i When Sir Thomas Rowe's 

I term of office was about to expire, Charles 

I requested the Company to choose a certain 

Sir Thomas Phillipps in his place. The 

company demurred and petitioned to be 

allowed to have the privilege, as they had 

*" See Minutes \inder this date. 

" James had also interfered with them, tliuiigh 
perhaps with some justice. He did not seek to influ- 
ence the company in their election, but he insisted that 
there must he an ambassador in Turkey. It so hap- 
pened that in 1617 Peter Pindar asked to be relieved 
of his duties. The company recalled him (see p. 78), 
and pleading poverty, decided not to appoint another 
ambassador, but only an agent. The difference between 
the two is not quite clear. Perhaps if a person were 
sent who was to be called agent, it would not be neces- 
sary to pay him so large a salary as if he were called 
ambassador. But James insisted that an ambassador 
should be sent, and after refusing several times, the 
company gave way and elected Sir John Eyre. Sec 
Min. May 7, 1619 ; May 25, 1619 ; June 8, 1619 ; 
June 13, i6ig ; and July i, 1619. 



8a THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

done in the past, of freely electing their own 
ambassador.*^ But Charles was obdurate, 
and signified to tlie company that he wished 
Phillipps to be sent to Constantinople. The 
matter was discussed at the court held on 
10 Nov., 1625,*^ and the question put " whether 
they would stand as formerly they had of the 
continuance of Sir Thomas Rowe, and to 
have free election of their ambassadors, or 
no." By a show of hands, they decided to 
abide by their rights, and the same decision 
was again come to thirteen days later.** The 
Company resolved to send a deputation to 
the King to plead their rights and privileges. 
But though they were promised a hearing 
the promise was not carried out.** At the 
Court which was held on 25 Feb., 1625,*^ 
Phillipps came personally to the meeting, 
saying that he already had a commission to 
be his majesty's ambassador at Constanti- 
nople but he was anxious to go with the good 
will of the Company, The Minutes report 



*- Min. May 14, 1625 ; May so, :635. 
" See Minutes under that date. 
** Min. November 23, 1625. 
*^ Min. February 25, 1623, 



^Pqu 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 83 

uite dramatically that " the court desiring 
to confer in private, asked Sir Thomas to 
withdraw a while. Then the Governor asked 
each man present whether he wished Sir 
Thomas to go, and each answered, No." 
Phillips on his return into the room was 
informed of the feeling of the meeting. His 
only reply was that if he could not go to 
Constantinople for the company, he would 
go as the king's agent. 

Thereupon the Company decided to present 
a Petition to the Privy Council against the 
appointment of Phillipps.*^ Every member 
present at the meeting signed the petition. 
But seemingly it was not well received,*' and 
once more the question was debated whether 
or not to accept the King's nominee. Once 
again it was negatived, and the company 
resolved to petition the House of Commons 
to mediate between them and the King in 
the matter. Nothing came of this ; and 
when Conway, the King's secretary, wrote 
to the company that it was the King's pleasure 
that Sir Thomas Phillipps should sail for 

** Min. March 2, 1625. 



84 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

Constantinople on the next ship which the 
company sent there, a deputation of the 
company waited on Conway to protest 
against the high-handed procedure of the 
King.*' 

Thus matters stood at a deadlock. Nor 
is it easy to perceive how the business might 
have ended. Luckily PhilHpps died,** and 
the struggle, so far as his appointment was 
concerned, was ended. But Charles had 
another candidate ready very shortly after 
in the person of Sir Peter Wiche. The com- 
pany however stuck to their rights and 
decided to re-elect Rowe. But when Wiche 
made it clear ** that he would not go out to 
Turkey unless he had the support of the com- 
pany, they so far relented as to nominate 
Rowe, Wiche and a third person ^^ and asked 
Charles to make the final choice. He natiir- 
ally chose his own candidate, and Wiche 
was accepted by the company and made 
free." 

*' Min. March i8, 1625. 
" Min. May 5, 1626, 
*" Min. November 20, 1626. 
^^ Min. December 8, 1636. 
^' Min. March 6, 1626. 



r 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 85 

Had there been but the case of Phillipps 
it might have been possible to suppose that 
the King was anxious to get a favourite of 
his into a good position. But when it is seen 
that directly Phillipps died, the King was 
ready with another candidate, it would seem 
that there is ground for assuming that it 
was the policy of Charles to nominate his 
candidates for positions of trust. More especi- 
ally does this supposition seem justified when 
it is seen that on the expiration of Wiche's 
appointment, the King nominated a successor, 
Sir SackviUe Crow.^^ There appears to have 
been little opposition this time on the part 
of the company with regard to the principle 
involved.^^ Crow was received as a candidate 
without a murmur and a committee was 
appointed to treat with him.^^ It took two 
years to settle the articles of agreement/^ 
partly owing to the illness of Crow, and partly 
to other difficulties. Finally all appeared 
ready, and arrangements were made ^* for 

^^ Min. December 2, 1633. 
** Min. November 20, 1633. 
* ** Min. December 2, 1633. 
^^ Min. December 17, 1635. 
** Min. June 16, 1636. 



r 



86 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

Crow to go on board the Royal Merchant 
which was to sail shortly after for Constanti- 
nople. But at the last moment a disagree- 
ment arose on the question of strangers' 
consulage. Strangers' goods carried on Eng- 
lish ships paid a special duty which the com- 
pany regarded as belonging to them and not 
to their ambassador, seeing that the company 
had to pay a similar duty for their goods 
carried on the ships of other nations. But 
already as early as 1635 ^' the Ambassador 
claimed the right of taking strangers' con- 
sulage. The company naturally refused to 
recognize this right, seeing that it would 
mean a loss to them. But the ambassador 
would not give way. So to prevent the 
question from arising in actual practice, 
the company adopted a regulation which 
forbade English ships to carry any goods 
belonging to aliens, within the sphere of the 
company's activities.^^ Seemingly then, the 

*^ Min. February ig, 1635. 

*8 Min. March 3, 1635. A similar act had been passed 
in 1633 {Min. October 11, 1633). Furthermore, it had 
been found that empty ships had been going into several 
parts of Turkey and been taking in goods for England, 
thus forestalling the markets at home and depriving the 



^p^l 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



[uestion was for the moment settled, but 
Crow, when the conditions of his appointment 
were being fixed, opened it once more by- 
asking to have the right to take strangers' 
consulage. The company took no steps in 
the matter, expressing no opinion either one 
way or the other, because they hoped that 
their regulation would make it impossible 
for a case to arise. Eventually, Crow promised 
not to press the point. He was thereupon 
made free of the company and his agreement 
was signed on lo Aug., 1636.^* One of the 
clauses stated that Crow should receive a 
sum of money in advance before setting out. 
But no sooner did Crow obtain this money 
than he played the company a scurvy trick : 
he refused to sail.®" Nothing further is men- 
ships of the company of their freightage homeward. 
So a restraint was made (Min. October 24, 1633) that 
after that date no private sliips should go from London 
or Leghorn or Naples to take in any commodities at 
Constantinople, Smyrna. Aleppo, etc., upon penalty of 
20 per cent. 

Probably the fii"st of these orders must have become 
a dead letter, or perhaps it was forgotten. Otherwise 
there would have been no necessity to re-enact it two 
years later. 

*' See Minutes under this date. 
*" Min. August 31, 1636. 



t 



88 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

tioned of Crow until the next year, when he 
was present at a Meeting of the Court held 
on the 20th March/^ and expressed his 
readiness to sail for Constantinople. Once 
again the question of strangers' consulage 
came up for discussion, for Crow asked that 
he might be allowed to have it. It was agreed 
that the ambassador should not take strangers* 
consulage for at least one year from his 
arrival, and that after that, a friendly agree- 
ment would be come to.**^ But a final settle- 
ment was not yet to be had, for it was now 
suggested that a clause should be inserted in 
the agreement with Crow, forbidding him to 
trade. Already in 1632 *^ it had been resolved 
that " the Ambassador at Constantinople for 
the time being shall not be permitted to trade 
directly or indirectly in any commodity what- 
soever." Apparently the company had found 
this general regulation ineffective ; hence 
the suggestion to insert a special clause in 
the Ambassador's agreement. But Crow ob- 
jected, though he promised on his honour as 
a gentleman that he would not trade. Finally 

^ MtH. March 20, 1637. *" Min. July 2, 1638, 
'^ Min. April 13, 1632. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



on 6 July, 1638," his articles of agreement 
were sealed, and on 9 Feb., 1638,^* a letter 
was read from Crow, dated 17 Nov., 1638, 
in which he acquainted the company of his 
arrival in the Turkish capital. It is of interest 
to note that Crow was described as " His 
Majesty's ambassador at Constantinople." *^ 
These were not the only instances of inter- 
ference by Charles I in the affairs of the com- 
pany. Not only did he override the com- 
pany's privilege of appointing their own 
officers, he was also bold enough to ask the 
company for grants of money. Thus, in 
1628 "* the Governor, Sir Hugh Hammersley 
(then Lord Mayor of London) reported that 
the King had asked him to use his influence 
with the company and urge them to grant 
him ;^io,ooo for the fitting out of a fleet to 
reUeve Rochelle. He promised to pay this 
sum out of the first subsidies which should 
be shortly collected. But the company ex- 
cused themselves, saying that they were quite 
unable to do the King this favour. In the 
first place they had not any stock of money 

** See Mimtks under this date. 

"^ Mill. July 3, 163C). " Min. July 2, 1628. 



go THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

lying in their coffers ; then, too, they were 
in debt to the extent of £3,000 and they 
owed great sums of money at the Customs 
House. As a matter of fact, the year 1628-g 
was an exceptionally bad one for the company. 
They suffered great losses at Aleppo through 
the behaviour of Sir Kenelm Digby ; ^' they 
were unduly oppressed by the Venetians at 
Zant and Cephalonia ; ** a ship of theirs, the 
Rainbow had been seized by the Turks ; and 
in addition to all this, they were in debt to 
the City of London and to Sir Thomas Rowe.^^ 
Indeed, so unsatisfactory was their condition 

■' Cf. Minuies, February 10, 1628, October i, i6a8, 
October 15, 1628, November 6, 1628, January 8, 1629, 
March 3, 1629. It appears that Sir Kenelm Digby 
sailed into the Scanderone Road with some ships, in- 
tending to seize certain French ships lying at anchor 
there. A fight resulted between him and the French 
and Venetians. Complaint of this was made at Aleppo, 
and the company suffered in consequence a loss of 
fio.ooo dollars [a dollar varied in value from 5s. to 6s. 
Mitt. December 14, 1630, dollar = 4s. jod. 
„ May 16, 1615, dollar = 5s. 

„ March 7, 1631, dollar = 5s. 2d. 

,, June 21, 1615, dollar = 6s.] 

*^ See below, p. 116. 

*• Min. March 31, 1629. The debt owing to Rowe 
was ^300, for which the company was paying him in- 
terest at the rate of 7 jier cent, per anniun. 



I 

^ tl 



THE LEVAXT COMP.\NY 9I 

in that year thai thev deckled »• to petitkm 
the ComiDODs to be rdeased from impositions 
not cMilv on currants, the staple d the Levant 
trade, but wv all commodities." Under these 
circmnstances it is not surprising that when 
Charles made a request of the company to 
tecommend those of their number who wcr« 
owners of the currrants just arrived from 
the East to pay him " all the several duties 
and payments heretofore paid for currants," '* 
the answer was in a decided negative. But 
Charles did not always ask for grants ; he 
often appropriated them without asking. 
Thus, it would appear that some time before 
1640 '' he had taken strangers' consulage as 

^'' Min. January 22, 1628. 

'' The company had made a similar requt-st four 
yeai-s previously [Min. April 13, 1624), asking Piiilin- 
ment to pay some attention to the gricvtintus that lny 
heavy on their trade and to direct some ineatu of re- 
heving them. Some of these grievances were tlio 
imposition of two shillings and two]}ence i)n cuiTttutS, 
(on what amount is not stated} ; of threc]«;nco 011 llw 
pound of raw silk, and of the extraordiniiry Ices which 
had been taken by petty officers of the ciisloiii lioiiM,', 

'* Min. January i, 1628, 

" Min. May 4, 1640. 

The company complained thai iw ii f(mHfi[iii;iir c ol 
the appropriation it was difficult foi' lhi:iu lo jmy Ihcii 




gz THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

his due. This was regarded as " of such con- 
sequence as in time may prove the ruin of 
the whole Turkey trade." Under James I 
there is no trace of similar high-handed treat- 
ment, and any interference on the part of 
the crown was met by a dignified reminder 
of the company's rights. Thus, in 1616 a 
letter from Sir Francis Bacon, then Attorney 

ordinary expenses. It may be that this was but an 
excuse to avoid fulfilling an order of the king's. Charles 
acquainted the company (Min. August 14, 1640) that a 
Turkish ambassador was on his way to England for- 
mally to announce the death of Sultan Murad and the 
accession of his successor Ibrahim ; and that the king 
hoped the company would provide for the reception 
and entertainment of this ambassador, " according unto 
custom." The company pleaded poverty, more especi- 
ally as a result of the loss of strangers' consulage which 
the king had taken. Charles sent a peremptory order 
to have his wishes obeyed, and the company in the 
end acquiesced. 

A similar incident had occurred in 1631 (Min. Decem- 
ber 5, 1631). A Greek gentleman had been well recom- 
mended to the king by the Emperor, and Charles asked 
the company to allow him convenient maintenance 
during his stay in England and also a free passage home 
to Constantinople. The company refused " in regard 
of the present disabihty of the company and the dan- 
gerous precedent it might be for future times." How- 
ever, they did agree {Min. December 13, 1631) to allow 
him a free passage to Constantinople. 



I 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 93 

'General, was read at one of the Courts,'* 
asking the Company to remit the fine imposed 
on two brothers, Dorrington by name, who 
had overstepped the company's regulations. 
The reply was that the company could not 
entertain the idea ; the King in his charter 
had given them the power to make regulations 
and they would abide by the regulations 
they had made.'' 

As in the case of Ambassadors, so too with 
regard to Consuls, Charles I made recommen- 
dations to the company for appointment to 
offices, sometimes even when the particular 
place had as yet no vacancy.'^ There is one 
case on record '' however, where the King 
made a suggestion to the company without 
any intention of limiting them in their choice ; 

'^ Min. June 17, 1616. 

'* Cf, this with a similar request in the year 1624 
{Min. November ri, 1624). The Privy Council gave 
the Venetians permission to bring in currants. Wlien 
the company were informed, they were anything but 
satisfied. Yet nothing was done, for " they considered 
it not fit at this time to make any suit for contradicting 
thereof." 
( '* Cf. Min. January 27, 1635. Charles recommended 
^ a gentleman as consiJ for Aleppo, though at that time 
the consulate there was filled. 
" Min. November 19, 1633. 



94 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

it was merely a recommendation. It so 
happened that complaints were made by 
certain influential members of the company 
against Mr. Green, the consul at Smyrna, 
for his unjust proceedings in several matters. 
It was therefore decided to dismiss him, 
although later '^ this decision was suspended 
until further news came from Smyrna and 
the company had more facts upon which to 
base a final judgment. Yet so soon as the 
rumour got about that there was likelihood 
of a vacancy at Smyrna, the King recom- 
mended to the company for appointment a 
Mr. John Freeman. '^ The company did 
not at once accept the King's candidate, but 
the Court resolved that whoever was ap- 
pointed should receive a salary of 1,200 
Dollars per annum, in consideration of which 
he was not to be allowed to trade for himself 
or to be a factor for another, s" 

There was no fixed rule in the payment of 
consuls or in the conditions of their appoint- 
ment. One of the earliest cases to be found, 

'* Min. December 2. 1633. 
"" Min. December 18, 1633- 
*<> Min. December 18, 1633. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 95 

under the reconstituted company, of definite 
articles of agreement is that of Mr. John 
Markham, in 1611/' who went as consul to 
Smyrna. ^^ The first clause lays down that 
he shall collect by way of consulage 2 per 
cent, in and out — i.e., on imports and exports 
— of the English nation to the use of the com- 
pany. *= This consulage he had to send to 
Constantinople every six months. For his 
pains he received a salary of 500 Dollars per 
annum. Every six months he had to send 
the company an account of the consulage, 
and it was his business to see that they were 

*^ Document 69 in Book of Letters, etc., marked F.A, 
Levant Company, No, 109 in Record Office, Cf, note 
(34) on p. 79 above. 

*^ Markham was later consul at Cio {cf. list of Con- 
suls, Appendix IV.), though he returned to Smyrna 
afterwards. 

** The chief business of the consul at any place was 
the collection of consulage. It is difficult to define 
his other duties, but, in genera], he looked after the 
company's interests. On one occasion he was even 
allowed to fix prices (Min. November 19, 1633). The 
company had fixed the price of cloth at Aleppo at ij 
Dollars per pike. But the consul wrote to say that 
this price was inconvenient, and the company accord- 
ingly ordered that in future the consul and the majority 
of the English merchants in Aleppo should have the 
power to fix the price of cloth- 



r 



96 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

not defrauded of any part of it.** From the 
wording of the salary-clause, it seems that 
the consul might engage in business on his 
own account, and that if only he carefully 
collected the consulage due to the company 
there would be no objection to his so doing. 
No doubt, 500 Dollars a year was not sufficient 
salary for an official if he was to undertake 
no other work of any kind. The matter 
is made abundantly clear in the case of 
the appointment of Mr. Freeman as consul 
in Smyrna in 1633.^^ He was offered alter- 
native conditions. Either to have 1,200 
Dollars per annum as salary and to be pro- 
hibited from trading, or to have 600 Dollars 
per annum and be allowed both to take fac- 
torage and to engage in trade on his own 
account. He chose the second alternative. 
A similar alternative was offered to Mr. Bar- 
nard on his appointment as consul at Smyrna 
in 1635. 

■* Every consul had to give the company security. 
Thus, Mr. Chapman {see list of Consuls in Appendix IV.) ' 
on his appointment as vice-consul in Aleppo gave the 1 
company five sureties, each for £100, and himself for \ 
£50. See Min. February 28, 1615. 

^Min. Feb. 22, 1633. 



tt But not all consuls received a salary. 
Thus, Humphrey Bunnington who was chosen 
consul for Patras ** was sent out on the under- 
standing that he was to receive no salary nor 
were the company to be at all responsible for 
charges of his establishment or indeed, for 
charges of any kind. But he was empowered *' 
to levy a consulage of 2 per cent, on all goods 
belonging to members of the companyj ex- 
ported from, or imported into Patras. 

The appointment of Consuls or Vice-Con- 
suls was, as a rule, made by the Company,^^ 
and that the company were jealous of their 
power is illustrated by a case which occurred 
in 1630.^" At the Court held on the 29th of 
July the company was informed that as the 
Consul at Smyrna had died, the Ambassador 
and the English colony in Smyrna had chosen 
as successor one, Mr. Greene, for whom they 
then asked the company's approval. The 
company decided to make their own choice, 



8« Min. April 30, 1630, *' Min. May 6, 1636. 

** Usually Englishmen were appointed, but there 
were exceptions. In 1616 {Min. August 2, 1616) a 
Greek is reported to have been made vice-consul at 
Zant. ** Mi«. July 29, 1630. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 97 



THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



since " the election of such their public minis- 
ters being wholly in themselves, which power 
they mean neither to wave nor yet to com- 
municate, whereby it may suffer the least 
diminution." Still, because they thought 
very highly of Mr. Greene they agreed to let 
him be one of three candidates to be recom- 
mended to the Court. He was eventually 
chosen and his salary fixed at 500 Dollars 
per annum. 

There appears to have been a time limit 
in some cases for the holding of the office of 
consul. Mr. Markhanij^" for example, was 
appointed Consul in Aleppo from midsummer 
1622 for 4 years. Afterwards his appoint- 
ment was prolonged. Similarly Mr. Potton,*i 
who was also chosen for Aleppo, in 1627, was 
appointed in the first instance for four years. 

A curious case in reference to the appoint- 
ment of consuls occurred in the year 1638.^^ 
Mr. Symonds had been appointed consul for 
the islands of Zant and Cephalonia.*^ An 

*" See list of consuls in Appendix IV. Cf. Min. 
July 31, 1633. 

** Min. May i, 1627. '^ Min. May r, 1638. 

*^ Cf. Min. March 10, 1637, and see below, p. 128, 
note {45). 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 99 

• 

agreement was duly drawn up, and at a Court 
held in the following May it was resolved to 
prepare for the emergency of the consul's 
death by making what was called a '' dormant 
commission/' which should remain sealed, 
appointing another to succeed to the office if 
Symonds died. But no one was to be informed 
who the successor was that was named in 
the dormant commission, and the commission 
was to be opened only when Symonds died. 



VII 



MEETINGS OF THE COMPANY AND MEMBERSHIP 

The Meetings of the Court were not held at 
regular intervals ; seemingly only when occa- 
sion called. To take one of the earliest 
examples of which there is a record, in the 
year 1614 there was the Statutory Court of 
Election on February 10, and the next meeting 
was held nearly three months later, on April 
28, 1615. Nor was there a regular rule about 
the Meetings of the Assistants. It was not 
until 1630 ^ that the company decided that 
for the future " for the better and more 
speedy regulating divers business of the com- 
pany which are far out of order " the Assist- 
ants should meet once a week. Three months 
later * the stress of business both at home and 
abroad was so great that it was resolved to 
hold meetings of the Assistants twice a week. 
From the earliest days of the re-organiza- 
' Min. February 3, 1630. ' Min. May 9, 1631, 



THE LEVANT COMPANY loi 

tion of the company it would seem that 
members attended the meetings of the com- 
pany badly. So much so, that penal acts 
had to be adopted by the company for punish- 
ment of defaulters. In October, 1622 ^ the 
Governor complained that members did not 
attend meetings of the company with sufii- 
cient regularity and that in consequence the 
business of the company suffered. In the 
following February * at the Court of Election, 
the business of the day could not be pro- 
ceeded with because there was not a full 
number of Assistants present. At the next 
Meeting of the Court ^ this question received 
full attention and it was resolved to fine those 
who stayed away.* But this fine was no 
new thing. For already as early as 1615 '' 
the company had adopted a penal law,® fining 
late comers to the meetings and those who 

* Min. October 17, 1622. * Min. Febraary, 4 1622. 

* Min. February 20, 1622. 

* The fine could not have been very effective, for 
in 1629 {Min. February 3, 1629) complaint was again 
made that some of the assistants came seldom, and some 
never, to the meetings of the court. 

" Min. April 28, 1615. 

* A number of penal laws were adopted at this meet- 
ing, and this particular law is the 12th — § I3. 



102 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



stayed away. If any one was late or absent 
on special occasions the fine was double the 
ordinary rate. The whole collection of penal 
laws adopted at this meeting is most interest- 
ing for the peculiar light it throws on the com- 
mercial etiquette which prevailed among 
members of the company at that time. Any 
one, for example, who should be found open- 
ing letters not addressed to him was to lose 
his freedom. 3 No unseemly or unfitting lan- 
guage should be used at any of the meetings, 
on pain of fine.^" No member was to speak 
more than three times at any Court, nor was 
any one to depart without first obtaining 
leave.^^ Fines paid under this head would 
go to the poor,^^ likewise those fines imposed 
on any one who refused to vote on a disputed 
question.'* Furthermore, if any one did not 
keep silence after the Governor had struck 
his. hammer, he was fined sixpence for the 
poor.i^ Of more general import are the 
regulations that no member of the company 
should pass any other man's goods in his own 



' Ditto, § 14. 
I Ditto. § iS. 
' Ditto, 5 20. 



' Ditto, § 17. 
' Ditto, I 19. 



" THE LEVANT COMPANY 103 

name ; ^* that no one should enter goods for 
the Straits, where no impositions were due, 
and then ship them into the Levant ^^ ; that 
no coin should be exported from England,*^ 
and that on pain of a fine of 200 dollars, no 
one should appeal to Turkish justice.^' 

As a rule the Meetings of the Court were 
held at the Governor's house. But there 
were exceptions. In 1623^^ it was resolved 
to find a fitting place for the meetings and the 

" Ditto, § I. 

15 Ditto, I 7. 

This trick appears to have been very often practised. 
The regulation here mentioned was adopted in 1615, but 
as late as 1631 (cf. Min. December 5, 1631) we find it 
again. The company had settled that a ship called 
the London shoidd sail to Scaiideione, carrying cloth. 
Sonie merchants hearing of this sent larger quantities 
of cloth to Leghorn {which lay outside the company's 
privileges), intending to put it on board the London 
when it called there. By so doing they would avoid 
the special impositions which the company levied on 
goods for the Levant laden in England. To guard 
against future abuse the company decided, that if any 
member be discovered playing this trick, his goods 
should be specially taxed to the extent of 20 per cent, 
{presumably ad valuiem) in Turkey. 

i» Ditto, § 9. 

" Ditto, g 10. Cf. Charter of Charles II, where a 
clause to that effect was added. See above, p. 64, 
n"tc {53), subsection (2). ^» Min. May 8. 16- 



no THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

the whole stock brought in by these inter- 
lopers should be sent back to the places they 
came from. In the same year ^ the company 
had to deal with a similar case which ended 
somewhat differently. A certain Mr. Flower 
whowasamember of the Companyof Merchant 
Adventurers brought a quantity of currants 
into the port of London. This was clearly a 
breach of the company's rights and the com- 
pany resolved that the currants of Flower 
should be sent back to where they had come 
from. But Mr. Flower came to a Meeting of 
the Court and asserted that he was fully with- 
in his rights, since he was a member of the 

^ Cf. Min. November z8, 1617 ; December 11, 1617, 
and December 17, 1617. The price of currants in Feb- 
niary of this year, it is interesting to note, was 43 
shillings and 4 pence per hundredweight. Cf. Mtn. 
February 14, 1617. Three months later it had gone 
down and new currants cost 43 shillings a hundred- 
weight, while old currants were at 40 shillings. Sec 
Min. May 17, 1617. 

It is curious to note that pa3TneTit for currants at 
this time (and presumably generally) was made, half 
the money at once for new currants and the rest in 
two fwrtions at intervals of three months. For old 
currants, however, the traders paid half of the money 
.down, and the rest in two portions at intervals of four 
months. 



ir 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



Company of Merchant Adventurers and that 
that company also had the right of import- 
ing currants. Thereupon an appeal was made 
to the Privy Council. Both companies sent 
representatives and copies of their patents. 
The Lords of the Council advised an amicable 
settlement, and Sir Thomas Lowe, who was 
Governor of both companies,* called a meet- 
ing of the Company of Merchant Adventurers, 
who decided to waive their rights on certain 
conditions.^ First that all currants which 



* An eaily example of the fact, so often occurring 
in modem times, that a man might be director of more 
than one company. 

^ Their resolution was as follows : " Forasmuch as 
by the declaration made of that which passed at the 
council board on Monday last in the controversy between 
this fellowship and the Levant Company, it appeareth 
that the Lords much desire that this fellowship should 
not stand strictly upon the uttermost of their rights 
and privileges touching the impxjrtation of the com- 
modity of currants which is considered of mainly to 
concern the Levant Company and this company but 
little. Therefore in obedience and conformity to their 
lordship's said desire this fellowship is contented to 
yield to be restrained from the importation of the said 
commodity of currants for such time as their lordships 
shall think meet to set or hmit upon these conditions 
following." Then followed the conditions given in the 
text. 



114 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

called the Salutation, of Yarmouth, had laid 
in a stock of currants contrary to the com- 
pany's regulations. In order to ascertain 
who the owners were it was resolved to ask 
Mr. Secretary Coke to send letters to some 
of the captains of the King's ships to stop the 
Salutation in the Downs until the owners 
claimed her. A special Court of Assistants was 
called on November 28, 1632 ^^ to consider 
the matter. They ordered the ship to be 
brought up the Thames, and there to be kept 
until the owners were discovered. When 
they were discovered they should be ordered 
either to send back the currants to the place 
from which they had been brought or to keep 
them until the company's currants came 
and then sell them after they had paid all the 
regular dues. If the owners chose the second 
alternative, they and the master of the ship 
were to give the company security that they 
would abide by the conditions. But as the 
owners could not be found the matter was 
taken before the Lord Treasurer,^^ who ad- 
vised the company to buy the currants from 



" See Minules under that d^te. 
'" Min. December 11, 1633. 



w 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 115 

the owners, whoever they were, and so settle 
the dispute. But the company stood by 
their charter and would take no action which 
might prejudice their powers.^^ So the currants 
were kept in sequestration. On 20 March 
1633 '* the question came up once more, 
now that some of the Zant ships had returned, 
bringing the company's currants, and Mr. 
Abbott, a member of the company, owned 
to having some of the currants on board the 
Salutation belonging to him. He was allowed 
to keep them on condition of his paying 
double imposition, viz., 8 pence per hun- 
dredweight, and also all his debts to the com- 
pany. The remainder of the stock of currants 
was delivered over to the owners on their 
paying a fine of ;^3 per ton.'^ 

In another instance of this kind ^^ where a 
ship, the Elizabeth and Dorcas, had brought 
in currants contrary to the company's regu- 



(■!'* Min. December 28, 1632. 
■ ^* See Minutes under this date. 
** It will be seen that the company treated the 
stranger much more harshly than their own member. 
The fine of the stranger worlcs out at the rate of 3 
shillings per hundredweight. 
"' Min. January 14, 1633. 



it6 the early history OF 



lations, quite apart from the fact that the 
owners of the ship were dealt with by the 
company, it was also resolved to put the ship 
on a black-list and never to employ her in any 
part within the company's privileges. 

Now while the company was pestered at 
home with small troubles in the currant-trade, 
it had on occasions also to face the worries 
of the Venetians abroad. From " an Act to 
reform the price of currants at Zant and 
Cephalonia " '-'' it would appear that the 
Venetians had put many obstacles in the way 
of English traders in those islands. They 
prohibited the English from landing English 
manufactured goods there, or if they allowed 
them to be landed, exacted heavy duties, and 
that regardless of the fact whether they were 
for sale in the islands or merely carried through 
them. They refused to allow the oil-casks of 
the company to pass over into the Morea. 
Last, but not least, they exacted greater 
duties on currants than heretofore. The 
Venetians did all these things although they 
were aware that the English were the best 
customers, paying always in cash, which the 
" Min. July ii, 1628. 



^V THE LEVANT COMPANY 117 

^^tiatives required to buy them bread, and also 
that the English were the customers who 
bought most of that commodity. The com- 
pany felt these difficulties keenly, and set 
about finding means to avoid them. It 
was suggested ^' that the currants be laden at 
Clarentia or elsewhere, thus avoiding the 
payment of any impost whatever ; or else 
the company might decide to leave the trade 
altogether. 

On the same occasion the price of currants 
was fixed.'* Until December i, 1628, mem- 
bers of the company might buy at any price 
they pleased ; from December i until the 
following February i, no one was to buy at a 
price higher than 20 dollars permille weight.^' 
Then from February i to July i ijo one was 
to pay more than 16 dollars " per mille 
weight ; " and from July i (1629) to Febru- 
ary I, it was again to be 20 dollars "per 
mille weight." Likewise from February i 
(1629) to February i (1630) the price was 
again to be 16 dollars "per mille weight." 

" Min. July ii, 1628. 

1' I have not been able to discover the exact amount 
represented by " mille weight." Is it ten times a 
hundredweight ? II a dollar was equivalent to about 



r 



ii8 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

In the same way each year the price of 
currants at which members of the company 
might buy should be no higher than 20 dollars 
" per mille weight " between July i and 
February i, and no higher than 16 dollars 
" per miUe weight," between February i and 
July I. 

The company regarded these regulations as 
so important that a special officer was chosen ^ 
to reside at Zant in order to look after the 
interests of the company, to keep the bazaar- 
book, and above all, to see that the Regula- 
tions concerning the price of currants were 
duly observed. 

The experience of members of the company 
in this connexion could not have been alto- 
gether pleasant, because in July, 1630 ^' it 
was resolved to re-consider the Act and per- 
haps decide to repeal it. On the one hand it 

five or six shillings, then about 120 shillings was the 
price of a " mille weight." Therefore (on the assump- 
tion that mille weight =10 hundredweight}, one hundred- 
weight would cost 12 shilhngs. But in 1617 the price 
of a hundredweight was about 40 shillings (see p. no, 
note (3). If the assumption is true, there must have 
been a remarkable fall in price in the space of eleven 
years. 

*•• Min. October i, 162S. ^* Min. July 7, 1630. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 119 

was feared that if the company persisted in 
paying only the prices fixed by the Act, the 
Dutch traders and others — the competing 
tradesmen— would buy up all the currants at 
a higher price. On the other hand it was 
feared that if the price was left quite unfet- 
tered, the factors would out-bid each other, 
and in consequence, the price might rise to 
even 40 ducats.^* It was therefore decided 
to continue the Act which fixed the buying 
price of currants, but not to stand too closely 
by it. Moreoverj for that year (1630) the 
price should remain 20 ducats," provided there 
were great quantities of the currants and that 
the quality was not specially good. But if 
they were good and the quantity small, then 
the factors might pay more, but never more 
than 25 ducats. ^^ In every case, however, 
they were to pay 2 ducats less for the cur- 
rants of Cephalonia than for those of Zant. 
In the same month ** the whole question was 

' Here ducats are spoken of ; in the Minute of the 
I year 1628 (on previous page) dollars was tenn used. 
I But it would appear that the two were used as inter- 
I changeable terms. 

■^ See above note (22). " Min. July 29, ib'y 



120 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

considered afresh and it was agreed to raise 
the price on occasions to 23 or 25 ducats '* 
" per mille weight," and secondly to trade in 
a joint-stock** so as to reduce the Greeks 
to reasonable prices and prevent the factors 
from out-bidding each other. The joint- 
stock principle was re-affirmed in the follow- 
ing January ^' as likely to be beneficial to the 
company. And for the better management 
of the trade it was also resolved at the same 
time to farm the customs duties on cur- 
rants from the King for a rent for a fixed 
number of years. In this way the company 
might be able to keep the price of currants 
pretty fixed both at home and abroad. Fur- 
thermore, the company resolved to make an 
attempt to force the West-countrymen — the 
merchants of Bristol and Exeter ^ ^— to recog- 
nize the company's monopoly in the trade of 
currants and to pay the impositions levied by 
the company. 

'^^ Miti. June 7, 1631. 

^' i.e. where the company as a whole did business 
and not individual members. Tliis was nothing new 
at that time, for it had already been tried and given 
up, e.g. in i6ao. Cf. Min. November 24, 1620. 

*' Min. January 20, 1630. ** Cf. above, p. 109. 



\ 




^But the order allowing the price paid for 
ciirrants to be raised was apparently unsatis- 
factory, for nearly a year after it was made" 
it was put on record that it had been incon- 
venient in the past and might be dangerous 
in the future. Therefore, it was repealed and 
the order of July ii, 1628,'" where the price 
was fixed at 16 or 20 ducats " per mille 
weight " was once more put into force 

Nor was the joint-stock satisfactory. That 
too was re-considered,^^ and as an alternative 
to it, it was suggested that the trade of cur- 
rants be farmed out for a certain number of 
years. But this was rejected, and once again 
the principle of settling the price of currants 
as had been done on July 11, 1628,^° was 
re-asserted and adopted.^" 

Two further recommendations were agreed 
to at this meeting." It was found that the 
fact that ships came to Zant and Cephalonia 
at uncertain times tended to raise the price of 

** Min. June 7, 1631. 

^° See p. 117, note (18). ^' Min. January 7, i6ji, 

"- " It was the joint opinion of those present that 

the best and only way to produce good to the general 

company by this trade is to confirm the Act of 11 of July, 

1628, in all particulars." Cf. Min. January 7. 1631. 



T22 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

currants. And so the company resolved that 
English ships for the future should not come 
into the ports of Zant, Cephalonia, the Morea ^ 
or any other place where currants were to be 
had or laden until December i, and no ship 
should begin to take in currants until Dec- 
ember 15. This applied to new currants; old 
currants should not be taken in after July i. 

^ At the very next meeting of the court (January 
ig, 1631) it was decided that " the best and only way 
to raise benefit to the company by the trade of the 
Morea was to let the same to farm." Accordingly that 
trade was to be farmed out to a member of the company 
for five years at £500 per annnm at least. A similar 
resolution had been come to on July 27, 1614 (see 
Minutes under that date). The farm, decided on on 
January 19, 1631, was put up to auction six days later 
[Min. January 25, 1631). An auction was arranged 
in this wise. A candle was ht and a demand made. 
Then bids were offered so long as the candle burned, 
and the man who made the last bid before the candle 
extinguished itself was adjudged to have the bargain. 
In tfiis case the company started, in accordance with 
the tenns of the resolution, with a demand of £500 per 
annum for five years, and at the end Mr. Langham got 
the farm for five years at £6yo per annum. 

A similar proceeding was adopted in 1635 (Min. 
February 19, 1635) to sell certain jewels belonging to 
the company. They were sold " by the candle." 
{Apparently standing capital in those days was invested 
in jewels, just as to-day it is invested in slocks.) 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 123 



rin the second place, Mr. Hunt who had 
just returned from the islands of Zant and 
Cephalonia, reported that the company 
suffered an inconvenience in that currants 
were bought by the English Stalira and not 
iby the Stalira of St. Mark, which was the 
weight of the country, seeing that the former 
was 2 per cent, less than the latter. The com- 
pany thereupon resolved that in future, 
purchases of currants should be made in the 
local weight, the Stalira of St. Mark. 

Now, despite all the arrangements and 
I re-arrangements concerning the currant trade, 

it was by no means in that satisfactory con- 
dition in which the company wished to see it. 
And therefore the arrangements and re- 
I arrangements were continued. In 1633 ^^ 

it was decided to set down a certain quantity 
I of currants to be bought in Zant and Cepha- 

lonia and that quantity to be imported into 
England, "namely, 2,200 tons ^^ (besides, 
those currants brought from Patras) is con- 
ceived to be as great a quantity as this King- 
dom will want." Moreover, each member of 

^* Min. April i, 1633. 

^' See above, p. 41, note (3). 



124 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

the company who had been a trader in cur- 
rants within the last seven years should be 
" stinted " ^' to a reasonable amount. A 
special committee had made this recommen- 
dation, and the full Court of Assistants 
adopted it,^^ provided the following condi- 
tions were attached. First and foremost, no 
member of the company should be given a part 
in the stint who did not first pay all his debts 
to the company. Secondly, no one should 
exceed the portion allotted to him, and lastly, 
no one should alienate or transfer or sell his 
allotment to another without first getting 
leave of the company. But at the general 
meeting of members held on May 21, 1633 ** 
some objected to the whole plan, complaining 
of the small quantity allowed them ; others 
of being altogether neglected. In conse- 
quence, the scheme was dropped and the trade 
in currants left as it had been at first when 



^* A " stint " or limit was assigned to each member 
according to his standing in the company. This re- 
stricted the quantity of currants he might import in 
any year. C£. Cunningham : Growth of English Industry 
and Commerce, I. p. 416. 

^' Min. April g, 1633. 

38 See Minutes under that date. 



[ 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 125 

:h member traded as he wished and in any 

antity he chose. ^* 

There appears to have been no improvement 
in the currant-trade. The great difficulty was 
that the quantities imported were so large *" 
that the prices left little margin of profit. 
And so the company appointed a special 
committee to find means to check the supply. 
The committee recommended " that an order 
should be issued by the company, forbidding 
the lading of currants until Christmas, 1637, 
and that after that the quantity to be brought 
in should not exceed 24 or 25 thousand 

" Yet in i6ao [Min. January 16. 1621) this had been 
complained of as one of the causes for the dechne of 
trade.' The company, it was then alleged, suffered 
great prejudice by the liberty given at home of free 
trade to every man, to send what quantities of cloth, 
etc., in what ships and at what times he pleased. And 
accordingly a joint-stock was then decided upon. 

The company had no settled policy with regard to 
this matter. Now the joint-stock principle prevailed ; 
now the individual trader was left free. 

*" Cf. Min. January 4, 1637. 

The trade " is now grown to such disorder by reason 
of the great quantities brought hither yearly." The 
trade " is so far out of order that the traders therein 
do trade to great disadvantage and loss." 

"' Min. Februai7 13, 1637. 



126 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

weight at most. In order that this quantity, 
and no more, be bought, an agent of the com- 
pany was to be sent to Zant and Cepha- 
lonia ** and he should be made acquainted 
with every bargain, though he himself was 
forbidden to trade or to act as factor for 
another. 

These recommendations came before the 
Assistants "^ who put them, together with one 
or two other points, into the form of an Act 
which the members considered.** The first 
recommendation they accepted : it was to 
the effect that means should be taken to 
remove the exactions which the State of 
Venice laid on currants from Zant and Cepha- 
lonia. The second laid it down that no ship 
should take in currants at either of the islands 
before December i in each year. The mem- 
bers agreed to this so far as that year was con- 
cerned, but that later on, if occasion arose, 
it should be amended. As to the price of 



** At the same meeting it was also resolved to make 
prodamation in those islands, informing the inhabitants 
that unless they cured their currants well the English 
would not buy any. 

** Min. March 4, 1637. 

** Min. March 10, 1637. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 127 

currants, the Assistants suggested, and the 
members agreed, that Zant currants before 
Christmas, i.e., from August until Christmas, 
should be bought at the rate of 22 dollars 
" per mille weight," while after Christmas, 
i.e. from Christmas until August, the price 
was to be 20 dollars " per mille weight." And 
the currants should be bought only if they 
were well cured.*- To this the members 
agreed, as also to the next article which set 
forth " that unless the currants sent home do 
hold in weight goo at least for each 1,000, the 
factors are to be liable to make satisfaction, 
which is to be deducted from their provision 
or otherwise." Eminently practical was the 
suggestion that the company should build a 
magazine or storehouse at Cephalonia where 
the currants could be preserved till they were 
shipped. But as this was a question of spend- 
ing money, the company were somewhat 
cautious, and the members wished for the 
opinion of the factors on the spot about this 
matter. Last of all, it was suggested that 
to keep the business in order, a general factor 
should be chosen who was to be the sole buyer 
of all currants at both islands. For his better 



128 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

credit he should have the title of Consul con- 
ferred upon him. To this the members 
agreed, and it was decided that the person 
appointed should have as commission J 
dollar for every ton of currants bought ; 
and he was to give the company security to 
the extent of ^i,ooo.^^ 

Currants, as we have seen, formed the staple 
of the imports fronri' the Levant. But the 

** Mr. Thonias SymonOs was chosen for this positio 
out of five candidates. See abo\-e, p. 98 . Letters 
were read from Symonds at the court held December 
24, 1638 (see Minutes under that date), in which he 
related that the Venetian Senate had ordered him to 
come to Venire. The company after that received 
letters from him from Venice, saying that the Senate 
were wasting his time, keeping hira in Venice by means 
of idle excuses. Obviously the Venetians wanted to 
hinder the company's trade (cf. Min. July 11, 1639). 
At last, at a meeting of the currants-committee held 
in August, 1639, it was resolved to put an end to the 
loss the company was sustaining, " Rather than the 
company shall persist so vainly to struggle with the 
state of Venice or trouble the king's majesty in his 
{Symonds') behalf, he (Symonds) shall be dismissed of 
his emplojmient, since it is impossible he should now 
after so much opposition and envy, quietly enjoy and 
execute the same." And so it was resolved to appoint 
an agent in each island, without the name of con- 
sul or any other title that might give the Venetians 
offence. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 129 

trade also included cotton, wool and yam/' 
spices/^ oils/* chemicals, skins,*^ silk^** 
wines/* and many other things.^^ Of English 
commodities taken to Turkey cloth ^^ kersies ^* 
and tin "' appear to have been the chief. 
And concerning all commodities, whether 
imports or exports, the company laid down 
rules to regulate trade, either to create an 
artificial supply so as to raise the price, or to 
safeguard some other of their interests. We 
have already seen how the company did this 
in the case of currants. But currants were 
by no means the only commodity so treated. 
In cloth, for example, the trade was also regu- 
lated. In 1615 ^' the Ambassador sent word 
home that a great quantity of cloth remained 

** Min. Oct. 20, 1631. . [Tn all these cases I have 

" Min. July 31, 1624. I given but one reference, 

*^ Min. April 13, 1624, I but I need scarcely 

*■ Min. Feb. 4, 1631, [ add they occur passim 

*'• Min. June 10, 1624. I in the Minu/es.] 

" Min. July 12. 1618. / 

** For long list, see Appendix VII. 

■^ Min. January 20, 1630. 

'* Kersies were a kind of coarse woollen cloth macic 

of long wool. Cf. Min. February 28, 1615 ; November 

19. 1633- 

' Min. August 2, 1627. 

. " Min. February 28, 1615. 



130 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

at Constantinople unsold, and that the coun- 
try was glutted by reason of the importations 
by Venetians and others. Thereupon the 
company decided that no cloth or other 
English goods should be sent out until the 
following April on penalty of 20 per cent. In 

1627 *■' the Company regulated shipping for 
12 months in exactly the same way. Of 
course, these limiting Acts were repealed when 
the time was considered fit. The last limita- 
tion mentioned was repeated in December, 

1628 ^^ but repealed in the following July '■■". 
So, too, in 1631 *" it was found that the quan- 
tity of cloth remaining at Aleppo was so small 
that it would be desirable to send a further 
supply. The company accordingly agreed/^ 
stipulating that only those members be allowed 
to ship goods to Aleppo who had paid all their 
debts to the company, whether for imposi- 

^' Min. August 3, 1627. 

^* Mitt. December 29, 1628. 

^' Min. July 9, 1629, 

" Henceforth it shall he free for every member of 
the company to ship cloth and other commotiities unto 
any place within the company's privileges at what time 
and in what measure and upon what shipping they shall 
think fit." *" Min. Septemlier 27, 1631. 

"^ Mill. October 5, 1631, 



I THE LEVANT COMPANY 131 

tions or otherwise. And in the future, in 
order that each member of the company 
might know more certainly what quantity 
of goods to send, and also that the supply be 
not too great, the company resolved *^ to 
send a ship to Constantinople and one to 
Aleppo every year at Christmas. Six years 
later ^^ a slight change was introduced into 
this "annual shipping" (as it was called). 
The ship for Aleppo was to sail in February 
^^^ and March, and that for Constantinople and 
^^H Smyrna in June and July. 
^^f An interesting case of regulating trade, 
I which did not, as it would seem, directly 

affect the company's operations but which 
yet played an important part at the time it 
occurred, was the trade in com. The Sultan 
allowed the exportation of com only as a 
special privilege. In 1631 °* the company 
learned that many English ships had been 
sent from Leghorn and Messina into Turkish 
ports in order to lade com. This they re- 
garded as a serious danger to their trade/^ 

*- Min. October 20, 1631. 

"■■' Min. February 14, 1637. 

«» Min. April 9, 1631. "^ See below, i>. 133. 



132 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

and petitioned the Privy Council to take 
speedy measures for prohibiting Enghshmen, 
whether they were members of the company 
or not, to carry on this trade in corn unless 
they first got permission from Constantinople. 
Moreover, those who did get permission were 
requested to give good bonds to the company 
that they would import the corn into England 
and nowhere else, more particularly into no 
country which was at enmity with Turkey. 
The Privy Council must have regarded the 
matter as important because five days later ** 
a message from the Lords of the Privy Coun- 
cil was read, intimating that the company's 
request in this matter had been granted, and 
that orders had been sent out accordingly. 
In the December of the same year ^' the com- 
pany was informed by Mr. Secretary Coke that 
complaints had been made against this order. 
It had been pointed out that the order was a 
hindrance to the development of English 
shipping ; that many merchants had suffered 
loss through it ; that the corn trade was an 
old trade and by no means an innovation ; 

^^ Min. April 14, 1631, 

*^ Min. December 13, 1631. 



tin 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



133 



id that, lastly, if Englishmen did not con- 
tinue it, their rivals, the Dutch, would seize 
it. For all these reasons he asked the com- 
pany to repeal the order. But they replied 
that since the Turkish ports where the corn 
trade flourished were within tlie privileges of 
their charter, and furthermore — a very im- 
portant point — if the Turks should proceed to 
recoup themselves for any loss, it would be 
the company's property that would suffer, 
they therefore regarded it as perfectly justifi- 
able to abide by the order of the Council. 

Nor was this the only occasion where the 
company looked upon all English shipping 
to Turkey, no matter of what nature, as com- 
ing within their influence and therefore to be 
regulated by them. Another case of trans- 
porting corn came up again in 1637.^* The 
company got information that an English 
ship proposed to carry com from Turkey to 
Genoa and Spain. Now the Company were 
aware that the Venetians enjoyed something 
like a monopoly in this carrying trade, and 
that therefore the Venetians, on hearing of 
the exploits of the English ship in question, 
*^ Attn. February 5, 1637. 



146 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

majesty would." The company had a day 
or two for making their decision. They 
waited to see what course of action the other 
companies would take. At their next meeting » 
they resolved to petition the Privy Council 
to be excused a contribution, seeing that they 
had had bad times recently, and promising 
to send out a reasonable proportion of shipping 
against the pirates at their own charge. 

The difficulty with regard to pirates is a 
constant one, but even so it did not appear 
to trouble the company as much as the factors 
in the East. To guide the factors in their 
dealings a mass of rules and regulations was 
laid down by the company. The factors 
were the agents in the Levant of members 
of the company and they were there to do 
business for their principals. But there was 
always a strong temptation for them to do 
business on their own account,!" ^nd it was to 
prevent this that the company tried various 
ways and means. 

^ Min. July 18, 1633. 

10 '■ By which the principal hatli a double prejudice 
and loss : first, in that the factors prefer the sale of their 
own commodities, and secondly, that they make use 
of their principal's money to their own benefit." Min. 
January 20, 1631, 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 147 



r 

^^H At the court held on 20 January, i630,'i 
^^H'a letter was read from Mr. Cowley, the com- 
^^H'pany's agent at Zant, in which he informed the 
company that factors were quite heedless 
of the regulations in force, and not only were 
great traders themselves but also dealt for 
masters of ships. So once again it was laid 
down by the company that factors were not 
to trade, exception being made only for 
Cowley ^'^ "for his better encouragement." 
Yet these regulations made no difference. 
The factors went on in their old way,^^ and the 
company saw themselves forced to sterner 
measures. It was decided to recall all such 
factors as broke the company's regulations.^^ 
Yet, in order to remove temptation from their 
way, the factors were given power •* to take 
a DoUar " upon every thousand of currants 
he shall lade for England." They might also 
charge for stiving.^^ for waste of bags and 

'^ See minutes under this date. 
'" Mitt. June 7, 1631. 

" Cf. Min. March 2, 1630. where a penalty is laid 
down as follows : If the offending factors are free of 
the company they shall be disfranchised; if not free, 
they shall be made incapable of ever enjoying the 
freedom. ^^ Min. January 25, 1631. ,'^ i.e. dusting. 



148 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

boxes, for the lining and stuffing of the casks, 
for hoops and nails, and so forth. 

But all in vain. The regulations were 
powerless to check those factors who were 
intent on avoiding them. Again and again 
there were complaints against them. In 
1638 '* it was even alleged that some of them 
had stolen the customs ; on another occa- 
sion i' that they had exceeded the stint on 
currants, having bought more than they had 
agreed to, and pretended that it was done at 
the order of their employers. Yet again * ^ 
it was asserted that they charged their prin- 
cipals a larger consulage than they actually 
paid, and^* that they bought silk at one 
weight and delivered it out to the account of 
their principals by another — to their own 
great profit. 

Whether these accusations were true or 
not, certain it is that the factors made a good 
deal out of their positions, and were able to 
live in grand style in consequence. Other- 
wise there would have been no occasion for 

1° Mitt. February 19, 1638. 

*' Min. October 3, 1639. 

'^ Min. March 23, 1639- '" Mtn. June 2, 1G3G. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 149 

the Governor to ask ^^ the Company that they 
should take some course against " the exorbi- 
tant height and excess that their factors abroad 
do live in for apparel and otherwise/' Perhaps 
one excuse for this was that some of them at 
any rate were very young. ^® 

2^ Cf. Mtn, October 3, 1638, where a letter from the 
consul at Aleppo was mentioned, in which he asked the 
company to send no factors to Aleppo " till they were 
of the age of twenty-two or upwards, and had attained 
to some settledness in judgment and manners." 



CONCLUSION 

We have brought down our consideration of 
the development of the Levant Company to 
the year 1640. Perhaps it will be well to 
finish this portion of our study with quoting 
certain recommendations made by the com- 
pany, recommendations which, we take it, 
summed up and gave expression to the ex- 
perience of the company during the first three 
decades of its history. In 1640 the "Honour- 
able Committee for Trade " assembled 
in the House of Commons (9 June 1640). 
This committee had already sent out 4 ques- 
tions to the trading companies regarding 
their commerce, and like the others, the 
Levant Company were asked (i) whether there 
was a decay in their trade ; (2) wherein the 
decay consisted ; (3) what was its cause ; 
and (4) how it might be remedied. On 9 
July 1640 ^ the company considered what 
See minutes under that date. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 151 

answers should be given to these questions, 
and among other things, decided to ask that 
its Charter should be confirmed by Act of 
Parliament. At the next meeting ^ the com- 
pany demanded to be freed from all arrears 
of impositions on silk, currants and other 
commodities. They suggested, moreover, that 
shipping in strange bottoms should be most 
strictly prohibited, for it was a source of loss 
to the whole kingdom ; secondly, that a court 
of merchants should be established for hearing 
and deciding all controversies which con- 
cerned merchants, in a summary and decisive 
way of justice. This would avoid long and 
tedious suits in the law courts, which cost 
much money and wasted much valuable 
time. 

All this is novel ; and therefore a suitable 
starting point for the second instalment of 
the History of the Levant Company. 
^ Min. January I2, 1640. 





Appendix I 



THE CHARTER TO THE COMPANY OF JAMES I. 
1605.1 

James by grace of God Kinge of England, 
Scotland, Britnnie, and Ireland, defender of 
the faithe, etc., to all our officers, ministers 
and subjects and all other people as well 
within this our realme of England as elswhere 
within our obeysance and jurisdiction or 
otherwise unto whome these our Irs * shall 
be scene shewd or read greeting : whereas 
the trade of the Signiorie of Venice and the 
Domynions of the graund Signior hath hereto- 
fore bin granted by our late deceased sister 
Elizabeth of famous memorye late queene 
of England unto dyverse particuler marchants 
of our citie of London by twoe generall 
grauntes of priviledges and hath bin enioyed 

' Tliis charter is numbered at the Pablic Record 
Office. F.A. Levant Company, No. 107. 
I * i.e. letters. 



i 



154 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

by those marchants for dyverse yeares by 
some of the said several grants which grants 
being determyned and the said trade at this 
present without government, we being de- 
sierous not onely to uphold and mayntayne 
the trade and traffique of our kingdomes for 
the increase of our navigacion and the benifit 
of our subjects but by the best means we may 
devise to advance and enlarge the same have 
resolved hereafter not to appropriate the 
said trade of the Signiore of Venice and 
Turkey to any lymited nombre of marchants 
nor to anie one cittie towne or place within 
these our realmes and Domynions nor to suffer 
the same to be used or enjoyed in anie degree 
of monopoly but to lay open the same to all 
our loving subjects using onely the trade of 
marchandize whoe are willing to enter into 
the said trade upon such reasonable tearmes 
and condicions as shall necessaryly belong 
to the supporte of the same. And to that 
end we have of late intimated our pleasure 
in this behalfe and have caused notice thereof 
to be geven by Ires wrytten under the hand 
of our welbeloved cousin Thomas Earle of 
Dorset our high Treasorer of England to all 






THE LEVANT COMPANY 155 

porte Townes within this our realtne of 
En^aod wherein marchants doe reside re- 
quyring all such marchants whoe shall be 
willing to enter into the said trade to repoire 
unto oar cittie of London to the Guildhall 
of the said dttie and there to conferre with 
such commissioners as we had or should 
appoynte in that behalfe. And in theire 
ccMiference to consider not onely of the mves- 
sar>' charge of the said trade of the Signiori,' 
of Venice* [and the Dom] NTiion of the graund 
Signior bat of the trade of all other the paries 
of the levant. And whether the Islandes 
Portes havens creekes and other places vi 
traffiqne within the levant seas not hereto- 
fore contayned with * [in the pri]\iledge 
grants to the said marchants of London 
weare fitt to be conteyned imder one entire 
govenunent of marchants trading to the 
levaitt. And whereas after such intimation 
made oi our fieamire h/r the e * [ ] 

trade for the ffsneni nfXid of our subjects 
n^ntie hath ht» rttti/lt: by dyverae mar- 
chants a* w«Jl irmu mftuUft t/thet Ports oi 
« There m « M« m Mm Me. h^v" tU mvH tttrre 




156 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

this our redme of England as of oure Cittie 
of London to the said place appoynted and 
sondrye conferences have beine there had 
betwene our said commissioners and the said 
marchants touching the said trade and the 
meanes to mayntaine and supporte the same 
wherein it hath bin resolved fforasmuch as 
the late discovery of the trade of the East 
Indies wherby manie spices druggs silks and 
marchandize which formerhe weare brought 
into this realme of England and the Domynions 
thereof by the trade of Turkey are nowe 
brought iinediately from the Indyes to the 
diminucion of the said trade of Turkey that 
therefore for the repayre of the said trade it 
weare convenient that all the Islandes havens 
ports creekes and all other the places of trade 
and traffique within the levant or Mediter- 
ranean Seas should be annexed and united 
unto the Priviledges and gouvernement of this 
trade of the Signiory of Venice and the Domy- 
nions of the graund Signior and especiallye 
for that those Islands havens Portes creekes 
and other places of marchandizing have 
theire peaceable and safe trafique against 
the Turkes Galleyes by reason of the capitu- 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 157 

lacion of intercourse holden by us with the 
Graund Signior and by the residence of our 
Ambassador within his Domynions. And 
whereas it was resolved in the said conference 
for the necessarie supporte of the said trade 
that active payment and contribucions should 
be levyed rated and collected uppon all and 
everie of the marchants which should enter 
into the Priviledges and freedomes of this 
trade ffyrste by the payment of a reasonable 
some of money uppon their fyrst entry there- 
unto and afterwardes from tyme to tyme by 
a rateable levy uppon theire goodes and 
marchandizes sent and retorned into and 
from the places of traffique by waye of con- 
sulage as three, two or one in the hundred 
more or less in and out as the necessary charge 
of the trade shall require wherein one equall 
and general! rate and proporcion of consulage 
is to be kepte soe that all mens goodes shall 
be charged and rated alike uppon all which 
and severall proceadinges in the navigation 
of the trade aforesaid and uppon the desire 
of diverse of our loving subjects whose names 
doe hereafter ensue to have the said trade 
established under a forme of governement 



X58 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

manifesting theire desyre and redyness to 
enter into the said trade of the Levant by 
the payment of the severall somes of twentye 
and fyve poundes by everye of them uppon 
theire first entry towards the necessarye 
supporte of the present charge of the said 
trade giving theire full and free consent to 
beare and paye uppon theire goodes to be 
sent and retorned to and from all and everie 
partes of the said trade such rateable con- 
sulage as from tyme to tyme shall be found 
proporcionable to supporte the future neces- 
sarye charge thereof, know ye that we for 
the consideracions aforesaid and for dyverse 
other good causes and considerations as there- 
unto especiallye moving, of our especiall 
greate certaine knowledge and meere mocion 
have willed ordayned constituted graunted 
and declared and by these presents for us our 
heires and successors doe will ordaine con- 
stitute graunte and declare that our wel- 
beloved subjects syr Thomas Lowe, syr John 
Spencer, syr Thomas Smyth, syr Stephen 
Soame, syr Robert Lee, syr leonerd hoUaday, 
syr Willm Romney and syr John Ffeame 
knights John Jowles cittizen and alderman 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 159 

of London, Willm Harborne esquire Richard 
Staper Willm Garrawaye Thomas Cordall 
John Eldred Andrewe Bayning Robert 
Sandy Thomas Symonds Robert Offiey 
Robert Coxe Nicholas Leate Roger O'feild (?) 
Richard Aldworth Thomas Garraway Nicho- 
las Salter Richard Martyn Thomas Farring- 
ton John Bate Morris Abbott Willm Ffree- 
man Jeffery Kirby Hugh Hammersley 
Thomas Bostock Humfrey Robinson Raphe 
Fliche George Salter William Kellett Thomas 
Cowley Thomas Juett William Wastell 
Edward Abbott Phillip Dawkins Simon 
Broadstreate John Dyke Thomas Sowth- 
arcke Richard Wright Thomas Cutler Olyver 
Style George Holman James Cullimer 
Richard Wich Giles Parslowe William Harri- 
son William Gowerson William AngeU Wil- 
liam Greenewell Andrew EUim Samuell Hare 
Richard Ven Lionel Cranfield William 
Massam Robert Harvy Richard Coxe 
Thomas Style Richard Talboys William 
Heynes Robert Angell John CorneUis Richard 
Deane Richard Husband Thomas Wright 
John Humfrey William Gunnell WiUiam 
Hynde William Walton John Skeete Clem- 



i62 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



manors mesuages landes tenements and heredi- 
taments and to doe and execute all and singuler 
other acts and things whatsoever by the same 
name. And that they and theire successors 
by the name of Governor and company of 
marchants of England trading into the levant 
seas maye sue and be sued pleade and be 
impleaded aunsweare and be aunsweared 
unto defend and be defended in whatsoever 
courtes and places and before whatsoever 
judges and before all psons * ofhcers and 
mynisters of us our heires and successors 
whatsoever within this our realme of England 
and other our Domynions whatsoever in all 
and singuler pleas, actons, suites quarrells 
causes and demandes whatsoever of what- 
soever kynde nature or sorte in such manner 
and forme as anie other our leige people of 
this our realme of England or other our 
Domynions being parsons able and capeable 
in law may or can have purchase receive 
possesse enjoye retaine geve graunte demyse 
alien assign dispose plead and be impleaded 
answeare and be answeared defend and be 
defended doe pmet ^ and execute. And that 
* i.e. persons. * i.e. permit. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 163 

the said Governor and companye of marchants 
of England trading into the levant seas and 
theire successors maye have a comon seale 
to serve for all the causes and businesses of 
them and theire successors. And that it shall 
and may be lawfull to the said Governor and 
company of marchants of England trading 
into the Levant Seas and theire successors 
the same seale at theire will and pleasure to 
breake chaunge alter and make newe as to 
them shall seem expedient. And further 
we will and by these presents for us our heires 
and successors we doe ordaine that there shall 
be from henceforth for ever hereafter one of 
the said companye to be elected and ap- 
pointed in such forme as hereafter in these 
presents is expressed which shall be called 
the Governor of the said company of mar- 
chants of England trading into the levant 
Seas. And for the better execucion of this 
our will and graunte in that behalf we have 
assigned named constituted and made and 
by these presents for us our heires and suc- 
cessors we doe assign name constitute and 
make our welbeloved subject Syr Thomas 
Lowe Knight and alderman of our cittie of 



i64 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

London to be the first and present Governor 
of the said company by vertue of these our 
Ires patent to contynue in the said office from 
the date of these presents for the space of 
one whole yeare nexte ensuying and from 
thence untill another of the said companie 
shall in due manner be chosen and swome to 
the said office according to the ordinances 
and provisions hereafter in these presents 
expressed and declared yf be the said S5T 
Thomas Lowe shall soe long lyve. And 
further we wiU and ordeyne and by these 
presents for us our heires and successors we 
graunte that from henceforth for ever there 
shall be eightene of the best and discreetest 
parsons of the said company resident and 
remayning within our cittie of London or 
the libties ^ thereof, the which eightene 
parsons shall be and be called the assistants 
of the said companie for all things matters 
causes and businesses of the said companye 
in all things towching [and] ' concerning the 
good rule state and government of the same. 



' i.e. liberties. 
' There is a blank here ii 
left out is " and," 



^FAn 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 165 

'And that they maye and shall be from tyme 
to tyme assistantes and ayders to the said 
Governor or his Deputie or Deputies for the 
time being in all causes or matters towching 
or concerning the said companie. And for 
the better executing of this our graunte we 
have assigned nomynated constituted and 
made and by these presents for us ourheires 
and successors we doe assign nomynate con- 
stitute and make the said Richard Stapers 
Thomas Cordali Nicholas Leate Thomas 
Symonds Robert Sandy Hugh Hammersley 
John Bate Morris Abbott Jeffrey Kyrby 
Wiibam Greenewell William Harryson 
Samuell Hare Robert Harvye William Mas- 
sam William Duncombe William Gowerson 
Anthonye Skynner and George Holman to 
be the first and present assistants of the said 
companye from the date of these presents 
for the tearme of one whole years nexte 
ensuyng and from thence untill they or 
eighteene others of the said companie shall 
in due manner and forme be sworne into the 
said office according to the ordinances and 
provisions hereafter in these presents expressed 
and declared. And further we will and by 



i66 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



these presents for us our heires and successors 
doe graunte unto the said Governor and com- 
panye of the marchants of England trading 
unto the levant seas and theire successors 
that it shall and may be lawful to and for the 
said Governor and Assistants of the said 
companye for the tyme being or the greater 
part of them present at anie publique assembly 
comonly called the generall court for the 
said companye whereof the Governor of the 
said companye for the tyme being allwayes 
to be one from tyme to tyme with the consent 
of the greater parte of the said companye 
assembled at such generall courte to electe^ 
[nominate] and appoynte one of the said com- 
panye abiding and dwelling within our said 
Cittie of London to be Deputie to the said 
Governor for the tyme being for and concern- 
ing the matters and businesses of the said com- 
panie. And likewise one other pason of the 
said companye to be Deputie to the said 
Governor in everie other Cyttie Towne and 
Porte within this our realme wherein anye ■ 

8 I cannot quite make the next word out. I take 
it to be " nominate." 

• The second page of the charter commences here. 




T COMPANY 167 



marchant free of the said companye shall be 
inhabiting or resident which Deputie and 
Deputies shall and may from tyme to tyme 
in the absence of the Governor exercize and 
execute the office of Governor in such sorte 
as the said Governor ought to do. And shall 
contynewe in the said offyce or offyces of 
Deputie or Deputies to the said Governor 
duering the pleasure of the said Governor 
assistants and companye for the tyme being 
or the most part of them. And to be re- 
moved when the Governor and the Assistants 
or the greater parte of them togeather with 
the assent of the greater parte of the said 
companye present at anie generall Courte 
the Governor for the tyme being being one 
shall thinke fitt. And furthermore for the 
greater encrease and advancement of trade 
and trafiique and for the enriching of our 
loving subjects being meere marchants we 
doe for us our heires and successors straightly 
charge and commande the said Governor 
and companye of marchants of England trad- 
ing into the levant seas and theire successors 
That they and theire successors shall from 
time to time and at all times hereafter admytt 



i68 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



and receave into their said companye and 

to be free of the same all and everie such pson 
and psns being subjects of us our heires and 
successors as nowe are or hereafter shall be 
meere marchants above thage of Twentie 
and syxe yeares and not within his or theire 
apprenticeshippe and which by the lawes 
and statutes of this our realme maye law- 
fullye use the trade of marchandize from or 
into our realme of England Soe as such pson 
or psons require to be made free of the said 
companye before the feaste of the Anuncia- 
cion of our blessed ladye saint mary the virgin 
nexte ensuying the date of this our graunte 
And shaU offer and paye unto the said Gover- 
nor and companie for the tyme being at the 
tyme of his or theire admyttance the some 
of Twentie and fyve poundes for his or theire 
freedome in that behalfe and that they and 
theire successors shall alsoe from tyme to 
tyme admytt and receave into theire said 
companye and to be free of the same all and 
everye such pson and psons being subjects 
of us our heires and successors as nowe be 
or hereafter shall be meere marchants and 
by the lawes and statutes of this realme may 



THE LEVANT COMPAN"V 169 

lawfully use the trade of marchandize from 
or into the Realme of England which now 
are or hereafter shall happen to be under 
the age of sixe and Twentie yeares or not 
oute of his or theire apprenticeshippe soe 
as such pson or psons doe and shall require 
to be free of the said companye within one 
yeare nexte after he or they attaine the age 
of sixe and Twentie yeares or within one yeare 
nexte after the end of his or theire apprentice- 
shippe. And shall offer and paye to the said 
Governor or his said Deputie for the tyme 
being and companye at the tyme of his or 
theire admittance the some of ffyve and 
Twentie poundes for his freedome in that 
behalfe. And that they and theire successors 
shall alsoe from tyme to- tyme admit and 
receive unto the said fellowshippe and to be 
free of the same all and everie such pson and 
psons being subjects of us our heires and 
successors as nowe be or hereafter shall be 
meere marchants and which by the lawes 
and statutes of this realme of England may 
lawfullie use the trade of marchandize from 
or into this realme of England soe as such 
pson or psons having neglected to be made 



170 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

free before the said f easte of the Anunciacion 

of our blessed ladye sainte marye the virgin 
next 1" [ensuyng] the date hereof or which 
at any tyme heereafter shall neglect to be 
made free of the said companye within one 
yeare nexte after he or they shall attaine the 
"full age of Twentie-six yeares or within one 
yeare after the ende of his or theire appren- 
ticeshippe as is aforesaid doe and shall require 
to be made free of the same companye at 
anie tyme whensoever after the said feaste 
and shall offer and paye unto the said Gover- 
nor or his said Deputy for the tyme being 
and companye at the tyme of his or theire 
admittance the some of ffyftie pounds for 
his f reedome in that behalf e. And our further 
will and pleasure is and we doe hereby graunte 
unto the said Governor and company of 
marchants of England trading into the levant 
seas and to theire successors that all and 
everie the sonnes of all and everie such as 
are or shall be of the said companie or cor- 
poration and also all theire apprentices im- 
ployed in that trade by the space of three 

^° There is a hole here in the MS. I take it the word 
is "ensuyng." 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 171 

yeares or upwardes within the signiories 
and Domynions aforesaid whither those 
yeares of imployment be whollye within 
their apprentishipps or partelie within theirs 
apprentishippes and partlye after theire ap- 
prentishippes ended and whether those yeares 
of imployment be jointly togeather or at 
severall tymes amounting to three yeares or 
upwardes shall from tyme to tyme at all tymes 
hereafter after theire severall apprentice- 
shippes fuUye ended and wholly imployed 
in the service of theire masters uppon pre- 
senting of theire and everie or anie of theire 
name or names unto the said Governor and 
company of marchants and uppon payment 
of the some Twentie shillings onely for 
the freedome of cache and everie such sonne 
or apprentice unto such officer or other pson 
as by the said Governor and company for 
the tyme being shall be appoynted for the 
Receipte thereof shall and may be admytted 
and becofrie free of the said companie and 
corporacion of Governor and company of 
marchants of England trading into the levant 
seas. And towching such apprentices of all 
and everie pson or psons as are or shall be 




172 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

of the same companie or corporacon which 
duering theire apprentishippe are not or 
shall not be imployed in the said trade by 
the space of three yeares or upwardes within 
the signiories and Domynions aforesaid : 
Our will and pleasure is that everie or anie 
pson or psons nowe being or which hereafter 
shall be of the said companye or Corporation 
shall or maye once in everie seaven yeares 
nexte ensuyng the date hereof make one 
such his apprentice free of this company or 
corporation albeit the same apprentice have 
not bein imployed as aforesaid paying at 
his admyssion to be free of the said companie 
the some of Twentie shillings unto such 
officer or other pson as by the said Governor 
and companie for the tyme being shall be 
appoynted for the receipte thereof as is afore- 
said And whereas djrverse and sondrye 
of our subjects have bein bounde apprentices 
and have served theire fuU apprentishipp 
with several psons which weare of the former 
societie of the marchants of London trading 
the levant seas and have bein imployed in 
the said trade in the service of theire masters 
by the space of three yeares or more and by 



I 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 173 

Pfeason of the dissolving of the former societie 
have not bein made free of the said trade 
according to the tenor of theire Indentures 
of Apprentishipp our will and pleasure is 
and we do heereby ordaine and appoint the 
said Governor and Company for the tyme being 
to admitt into the freedorae of this present 
company of marchants of England trading 
the levant seas such and soe many of our said 
subjects as shall have bein so imployed and 
have served theire said apprentishippes pay- 
ing such reasonable ffynes upon theire said 
admyssions as to the said Governor and com- 
panye or the more parte of them for the tyme 
being the Governor for the tyme being being 
one shalbe thouglite meete and reasonable 
so as the same ffyne soe to be payd by everie 
such pson uppon his admyssion as aforesaid 
do not exceede the some of Twentie nobles. 
And our further will and pleasure is and by 
these presents for us our heires and successors 
we will and graunte unto the said Governor 
I and companye of marchants of England 

L trading into the levant seas and to theire 
successors that all and singuler such some 
and soriies of monie as at anie tyme or tymes 




174 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

hereafter shall be due receaved or paid for 
or in respecte of anie admittance or admit- 
tances into the said Incorporation of Governor 
and companie of marchants of England trad- 
ing into the levant seas by force and yertue 
of these presents shall from tyme to tyme 
be ymployed and bestowed to and for the 
use and behoofe of the said Governor and 
companye of marchants of England trading 
into the levant seas for and towards the 
discharging and defraying of the debtes and 
moneyes taken upp in Turkye by the Ambas- 
sador and consulls there resident uppon such 
marchants and others as have traded those 
partes since the decease of the said late queene 
Elizabeth over and besides such due consulage 
as those marchants weare to paye uppon 
theire goodes traded for and towardes the 
mayntenance of the said ambassador and 
consulls duering that tyme and for and to- 
wards such other debtes and arrerages as 
doe depend uppon the said former Societie 
and which weare by them owing before the 
dissolving of their former priviledges Provided 
allwaies that no pson or psons which be or 
shall be admitted into this company or fellow- 



I 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 175 

shipp in manner and forme as is aforesaid 
other then such onely as heretofore in the 
tyme of the said late queene Elizabeth and 
duering the contynewance of the former 
Ires patent of freedome and priviledge of the 
said trade were free of the societie of mar- 
chants of london trading into the levant 
seas shalbe charged with the payment of 
anie debtes charges or payment owing or 
payable by the said former societie or fellow- 
shipp concerning the mayntenance of the 
said trade or for other debtes charges or 
■arrerages for anie cause belonging to the said 
trade growing due before the feaste of saint 
michaell the archangell last past before the 
date of these presents But that all such 
debtes arrerages charges and payments soe 
formerlie due shall be defrayed by the mar- 
chants which had and enioyed the former 
liberties priviledges Ires patents of the said 
late queene Elizabeth toward the levying 
and cleering of all which former debts pay- 
ments and charges before the said feaste of 
sainte michaell the archangell last past soe 
due by the said former societie we doe hereby 
aucthorice and appoynt the marchants formerly 



176 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

interessed in the said trade of the levant seas 
by force of the former Ires patents not onely 
to receave and retaine of the monies which 
shall be collected and receaved for thadmys- 
sion of ffreemen into this company all such 
admyssion monies as shall be due as well by 
themselves for theire severall admyssions as 
by others that weare not of the former privi- 
ledges but alsoe to coUecte and gather in all 
such debtes and dueties which weare due 
and owing eyther by waye of consulage 
imposicons or otherwise unto the former 
societie before the dissolving of the said former 
priviledges untill the moneye by them to be 
collected uppon the said debtes dueties and 
admyssion money shaU arrise to the some of 
eight Thowsand poundes sterling out of which 
eight thowsand poundes they shall defraye 
all the said debtes arrerages and charges due 
and owing or otherwise formerlye growing 
uppon the said trade for the charge of the 
ambassador and consulls resident in Turkey 
and alsoe aU other charges depending uppon 
the said trade from tyme to tyme formerlie 
growen due untill the said feast of saint 
michaell tharchangell last past before the 



^ 

I 



' THE LEVANT COMPANY 177 

date hereof. And shall alsoe with the said 
allowance of eight Thowsand poundes content 
themselves for the charges heretofore by them 
expended uppon such houses and furniture 
of house and warehouses appertayning and 
belonging to the said late societie And to 
leave the same houses and furniture to the 
use of this present Governor and companye 
of merchants of England trading into the 
Levant seas and theire successors allwaies 
excepted one warehowse at Petrasse which 
particularly and soly doth appertaine to 
Richard Staper of London marchant and 
that the overplus which shall arrise and growe 
out of all and everie the said debtes dueties 
and admyssion money over and besides the 
said some of eighte Thousand poundes shall 
from tyme to tyme hereafter be imployed by 
the said Governor and company for and 
towardes the yearlie charges which shall 
hereafter growe for the contyneuance and 
mayntenance of the said companie. And 
our will and pleasure is and by these presents 
for us our heires and successors of our especiall 
grace certaine knowledge and meere mocion 
Sree doe will'and'graunt that^yf anie of our 




THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



loving subjects being a meere marchant or 
meere marchants and which for anie some or 
somes or other consideracons agreable to the 
articles and clauses before mentioned mighte 
or oughte to be admytted into the said cor- 
poracion of Governor and company of mar- 
chants of England trading into the levant 
seas and according to the true entent and 
meaning of these presents shall uppon reason- 
able request and uppon payment or tender 
of such some or somes of money or pformance 
of such other consideracons as is afore- 
said be refused by the said Governor and 
companie to be admytted and made free of 
the said companye contrarie to the true 
entent and meaning hereof Then we for us 
our heires and successors doe graunte and 
ordaine by these presents that everie such 
pson and psons soe being refused shall be free 
of the said companye and a member of the 
said Incorporacon these presents or anie 
thinge therein conteyned to the contrarie 
notwithstanding And further we will and 
by these presents for us our heires and succes- 
sors we doe graunte to the said Governor 
and company of marchants of England trad- 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 179 

ing into the levant seas and theire successors 
That the said Governor for the tyme being 
or his Deputie with the assent and consent 
of the said assistants or the greater parte of 
them together with the greater parte of the 
said companie of marchants of England 
trading into the levant seas assembled at a 
general! courte maye and shall have power 
to name choose and appointe at theire will 
and pleasure from tyme to tyme one or more 
of the said companie to be the consull consuUs 
or vice-consuUs of the said Governor and 
companye of marchants of England trading 
into the levant seas in all such places of the 
Signiorie of Venice the Domynions of the 
Graund Signior and other places within the 
levant as they shall thinke meete which 
consulls or vice consulls shall be resident in 
such place and places as the said Governor 
and Assistants of the ffellowshipp aforesaid 
or the greater parte of them together with 
the assent of the greater parte of the said 
companie present at any courte or assembly 
shall thinke meete and '^ convenient. And 
that for the said consull and consulls and 
•' Page 3 of the charter commences here. 



i8o THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

vice consulls and everie of them soe named 
and chosen shall have authoritie and power 
to goveme all singuler marchants being 
subjects of us our heires and successors 
well of the said company as others which be 
not of the said companie and theire ffactors 
agents and servants trading marchandize 
into the signiorie of Venice the DomynioiS 
of the graunde Signior and other places afore^ 
said And to administer to them and everie 
of them full speedie and expedite justice in 
all theire plaintes causes and contencions 
amongst them begune and to be begune in 
the said Domynions of the Signiorie of Venice 
and the graunde Signior and other plai 
aforesaid and to pacifie decide and determyne 
all and all manner of questions discordes and 
strifes amongst them in anie the Signiorye 
Domynions and places aforesaid moved and 
to be moved for the better governement of: 
the said marchants in the Signiorye Domjmiona- 
and places aforesaid for the tyme being; 
And alsoe that the said consuU consulls an< 
vice consulls and everie of them resident i 
the said Signiorye Domynions and plac^ 
aforesaid shall have full power and lawful! 



■ THE LEVANT COMPANY t8i 

aucthoritie to doe and execute all thinges 
which by the said Governor or his Deputie 
and Assistants of the said companie for the 
tyme being or the more parte of them to- 
geather with the assent of the said companie 
resident in London present at anie courte 
or assembly shall be unto the said consull 
or consulls and vice consulls and everie of 
them in the said Signiorye Domynions and 
places aforesaid for the tyme being prescribed 
and appoynted according to the Statutes 
actes and ordinances of the said companie 
Soe as anie of the ordinances orders direccions 
and constitucions soe to be prescribed be 
not to the hinderance of the trade of anie of 
the said companie behaving him or themselves 
duelye and orderlye as becometh good mar- 
chants of the said companye without anie 
fraudulent or disorderly attempts or practize 
And that it shall be lawfull for the said 
Governor and companie and theire successors 
the said consull or consulls or vice consulls 
and everie of them to change and remove 
at theire pleasure. And further we will and 
for us out heires and successors by these 
presents doe graunte unto the said Governor 



i8z THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



and companie of marchants of England trading 
into the levant seas and theire successors 
that they or the greater parte of them whereof 
the said Governor or his Deputiefor the tyme 
being to be one from tyme to tyme and at all 
tymes hereafter shall and may have aucthoritie 
and power yearely and everie yeare uppon 
the ffirst day of ffebruarie or at anie tyme 
within ffowerteene dayes after that daye to 
assemble and meete togeather in some con- 
venient place within the cittie of london to 
be appoynted from tyme to tyme by the said 
Governor or in his absence by his Deputie 
for the tyme being And that- being soe 
assembled yt shall and maye be lawfull to 
and for the said Governor and companie of 
marchants of England trading into the levant 
seas for the tyme being or the greater parte 
of them which then shaU happen to be present 
whereof the Governor or his Deputie for the 
tyme being to be one to electe and nominate 
one of the said companye which shall be 
Governor of the said companye for one whole- 
yeare from thence nexte following and from 
thence untill one other of the said companif 
shall in due manner be chosen and swome 



1 




THE LEVANT COMPANY 1S3 

unto the said office according to the true 
meaning of these presents And after the 
said Governor soe chosen yt shall be likewise 
lawfull to the said Governor and companye 
for the tyme being or the greater parte of 
them as ys aforesaid to electe ordayne 
nomynate and appoynte one other of the 
said companie resident within our said Cittie 
of London which shall be Deputie to the said 
Governor for one whole yeare from thence 
following and from thence untill another of 
the said companie shall in due manner be 
chosen unto the said office according to the 
true meaning of these presents. And after 
the said Deputie soe chosen it shall be alsoe 
lawfull unto the said Governor and companye 
for the tyme being or the greater parte of them 
as is aforesaid to nom3mate elect and appoynt 
eighteene of the best and most discreete 
psons of the sai d companie inhabiting within 
the cittie of London or the liberties thereof 
to be assistants to the said Governor and 
companie for one whole yeare then nexte 
following and from thence forth untill a newe 
eleccion of Assistants of the said companye 
shall be made which said severall psons so 



i84 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

nomynated elected and chosen to the severall 
offices aforesaid before they shall enter into 
execucion of anie of the said severall offices 
shall take theire corporall oathes before the 
laste Governor or his Deputie Assistants and 
companie or the greater parte of them psent ■ 
at such courte or assembly that they shall 
duely and truelie execute theire said offices i 
whereunto they shall be severally chosen in 
all thinges concerning the same. And that 
the said laste Governor or his Deputie shall 
have full power and authoritie from tyme 
to tyme to give and mynister to the said 
severall psons soe elected and chosen the 
said oathe accordinglye. And if it shall 
happen the said Governor the said Deputie 
or Assistants or anie of them to dye or uppon 
juste cause to be removed from theexecucon 
of anie of theire said places as before the tyme 
of the yearelie eleccion of the said officers 
by these presents assigned for anie mis- 
demeanor by them comytted in the execucon 
of theire said office for which cause it shall be 
lawf uU for the said companie at theire gener^ 
assemblye in the presence of the Governor 
or his Deputie and the greater nomber of 






THE LEVANT COMPANY 185 

[assistants togeather with the consent of 
the greater nomber of the companie assembled 
to displace anie officer formerhe chosen 
That then and see often the said Governor 
and companie or his deputie with the greater 
nomber of Assistants with the assent of the 
greater nomber of the companie present at 
theire generall courte to electe and choose 
soe manie pson or psons of the said com- 
panie as sliall supphe the place or places of 
every pson or psons soe dying or being re- 
moved as aforesaid. And furthermore our 
will and pleasure is and by these presents for 
us our heires and successors we doe graunte 
to the said Governor and companie of mar- 
chants of England trading into the levant 
seas and theire successors that it shall and 
maye be lawfull to and for the Governor or 
his Deputie or Deputies and to the said Assis- 
tants and companie and theire successors for 
the tyme being or the greater parte of them 
for ever to assemble themselves for or about 
anie the matters causes affaires or businese 
of the said companie in anie place or places 
for the same convenient within our cittie of 
london or our Realme of England and there 



i86 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

to houlde Courte for the said companie and 
the affaires thereof. And that alsoe it shall 
and may be lawfull to and for them or the 
more parte of them being soe assembled and 
then present in anie such place or places 
whereof the Governor for the tjmie being or 
his Deputie to be one to make ordaine and 
establishe statutes lawes orders constitucions 
and ordinances as well for the good rule and 
govemement of the said Governor and com- 
panie of marchants of England trading into 
the levant seas and theire successors as of all 
and singuler other subjects of us our heires 
and successors entermedling or by anie means 
exercizing marchandize in anie parte of the 
Signiorie of Venice or the Domynions of the 
Graund Signior and other places within the 
levant seas and the same lawes orders con- 
stitucions and ordinances soe had and made 
to putt in use and execute accordinglie and 
at theire pleasure to revoake the same or 
anie of them as occasion shall require. And 
that the said Governor and companye or 
the greater parte of them present at anie 
courte or assembly as often as they shall make 
ordeyne or establishe anie such statutes lawes 






THE LEVANT COMPANY 187 

ders constitucions or ordinances in forme 
aforesaid shall and maye lawfullie ordaine 
lymitt and provide such paynes punyshments 
and penalties by ymprisonment of bodie or 
by fynes and amercements or by all or anie 
of them to be extended upon and against 
all and everie offenders contrarie to such 
statutes lawes orders constitucions and ordi- 
nances or anie of them as to the said Governor 
and companie for the tyme being or the greater 
parte of them then and there being present 
or assembled the Governor or in his absence 
his said Deputie being allwaies one shall 
seenie necessarie requisite or convenient for 
the observacion of the same statutes lawes 
constitucions orders and ordinances And 
the same ffynes and amerciaments shall and 
maye levy take and have to the use of the 
said Governor and companye and theire 
successors without the ympeachment or lett 
of us our heires or successors and without 
anie accompte therefore to us our heires 
or successors to be rendered or made. All 
and singular which statutes lawes consti- 
tucions orders and ordinances soe as afore- 
said to be made we will to be observed 



THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



pformed and kept under the paines and 
penalties therein to be conteyned soe as the 
same statutes lawes constitucons orders and 
ordinances forfeytures and penalties be not 
contrarie or repugnant to the lawes and 
statutes of this Realme nor contrarie 
repugnant or derog-atorie to anie treatise 
leagues capitulacions or covenants betwene 
us our heires or successors and anye other 
Prince or Potentate made or to be made 
nor tending to the hinderance of the trade 
and traffique of anie of the same companie 
behaving hym or themselves duelie and 
orderlie as becometh good marchants of the 
said companie without anie fraudulent or 
disordered attemptes or practices. And also 
wee will and by these presents for us our 
heires and successors wee doe graiuite to the 
said Governor and companie of marchants of 
England trading into the levant seas and 
theire successors that the said Governor or 
his Deputie or Deputies and assistants afore- 
said or the more parte of them for the tyme 
being togeather with the consent of the greater 
parte of the companye assembled at a generall 
courte may and shall have full and whole 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



■power and aucthoritie from tjmie to tyme at 
■■ftheire will and pleasure to assesse and sett 
Iteasonable and convenient somes of money 
r as well uppon the marchandize to be trans- 
ported or carried out of this Reahne of England 
or Domynions of the same into the Signiorye 
Lof Venice and the Domjmions of the Graund 
rSignior and other places within the levant 
[•seas or anie the partes or Domynions thereof 
I as alsoe uppon all other marchandize to be 
I transported out of the said Signiorye of 
Venice and the Domynions of the Grand 
■Signior and other places within the levant 
seas or anie the partes or Domynions thereof 
in or to this Realme of England or Domynions 
of the same or elsewhere And uppon everie 
shipp laden with the said marchandize as to 
them shall seeme requisite and convenient 
■for the corhon profht and sustentacon of the 
necessarie and reasonable stipendes and other 
charges of the said companie and corporacon 
whether such soiTies of money soe sett either 
uppon the goodes or shippes used in the said 
trade be rated by waye of consulage or other- 
wise. And further we will and by these 
presents for us our heires and successors doe 



IQO 



THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



\ 



graunte to the said Governor and companie ■ 
of marchants of England trading into the 
levant seas and theire successors [that] ^^ 
yf anie of the said companie or other pson 
or psons which shall use the trade of marchan- 
dize into the said Domynions of Turkey the 
Signiorie of Venice and other places of traf- 
fique within the levant seas or anie parte 
thereof shall refuse to paie or shall not paie 
the said somes of money soe assessed or to 
be assessed or sett uppon theire marchandize 
or shippes as aforesaid or shall offend or doe 
against the advancement of the said trade 
and traffique and the comon proftitt of the 
privUedges or liberties of the said companie 
in and by these presents to the said Governor 
and companie graunted or contrairie to anie 
article clause or graunte herein contayned 
or againste anie statute acte or ordinances 
by the said Governor or his Deputie or Depu- 
ties or Assistants aforesaid or the greater 
parte of them in manner and forme aforesaid 
made or hereafter to be made or shall refuse 
to paye the said some or somes of money 

'* The word is so faint in the MS, that it can scarcely 
be read. I take it to be " that." 



' THE LEVANT COMPANY 191 

ffyne or ffynes forfeyture or forfeytures or 
penalties due assessed or appoynted to be by 
them payed to the said Governor or his 
Deputie or Deputies and Assistants aforesaid 
by the said actes or ordinances or anie of 
them Or yf anie pson or psons whatsoever 
by anie means directlie or indirectlie or by 
waye of complainte or by anie other cautell 
devise consideracon or intelligence with anie 
forraigne Prince Potentate or magistrate or 
with any stranger borne attempte or cause 
to be attempted or breake violate or make 
void these our priviledges or anie of them 
or anie article in these presents contayned 
to the said Governor and companie of mar- 
chants of England trading into the levant 
seas graunted whether it be within this our 
Realme of England or else where That then 
and soe often it shall and maye be lawfuU to 
the said Governor or his Deputie and to the 
said Assistants or the greater parte of them 
which shall be then present at anie courte or 
assemblye and theire successors for the tyme 
being and to the consuU consuUs or vice 
consulls to be appoynted and established in 
the Signiories of Venice the Domynions of 



192 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

the Graund Signior and other places of traf- 
fique in the levant seas as aforesaid and to 
the Deputie and Deputies or anic other officer 
established or appoynted in anie Porte Towne 
or other place in this our realme of England 
by the said Governor and companie for the 
tyme being such obstinate offenders and ill 
doers to chastice and correcte by imprison- 
ment or otherwise by fyne amercement or 
other reasonable punyshment according to 
the quallitie of the faiilte or offence as by 
the said Governor for the tyme being or his 
Deputie and the said assistants or the greater 
parte of them for the tyme being which shall 
be then soe present and assembled shall be 
ordered and adjudged And that then and 
soe often it shall be lawfuU to and for the 
said Governor or his Deputie and the said 
assistants or the greater parte of them for 
the tyme being present at anie courte or 
assembly or to and for their officer and officers 
in that behalfe by them appoynted and 
aucthorised to enter into anie house shoppe 
warehouse celler or shippe where anie goodes 
or marchandize of such offender or offenders 
or pson or psons soe refusing to paye the said 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 193 

ffynes and penalties imposed on hym or them 
shall be or remaine and the same goodes or 
marchandizes to distraine and the ^' distresse 
and distresses there founde to take seize 
carrye away detaine and keepe untUl the 
same fynes and penalties and everie of them 
shall be fuUye satisfied contented and paide 
to the said Governor Deputie or assistants 
according to the true entent and meaning 
of these presents. And for that diverse 
psons our subjects being not brought upp 
[to]'* marchandize or use of traffique but 
altogeather ignorant and inexpert asweU in '^ 
the order and rule of marchandize as in the 
lawes and customes in the Domynions of 
Turkye Signiorie of Venice and other places 
of traffique in the levant seas And in the 
customes usages tolls and values of moneyes 
weightes and measures and in all other thinges 
belonging to marchandize verye necessarie 
through theire Ignorance and lacke of know- 

^* Page 4 of the MS. commences here. It is the 
uppermost full page, consequently the lower half is 
rather dirty and therefore somewhat more difficult to 
read than the rest. 

** This word is illegible. I take it to be "to." 

'' This word is repeated in the MS. 



194 



THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



ledge do comytt manie inconveniences and 
absurdities as we are informed to the offence 
of us and the graund Signior We willing 
to prevent and meete with such incon- 
veniences and intending to helpe the experte 
and exercised marchants in theire honest and 
lawfull trade and to establishe good order 
and governement in the said trade of our 
ample and abundant grace certaine knowledge 
and meere mocion have graunted and by these 
presents for us our heires and successors doe 
graunte unto the said Governor and com- 
panye of marchants of England trading into 
the levant seas and theire successors That they 
onelye which nowe are or hereafter shall be 
of this Incorporacion or free of this companie 
and none other shall have use and enioye anie 
trade or trafhque or anie Hbertie use or 
priviledge of trading or traffiquing and using 
the trade and seate of marchandize in or to 
the Signiorie of Venice the Gulfe of Venice 
the State of Ragousa or anie other state or 
Governement within the Gulf of Venice or in 
or to anie parte of them or anie of them or in 
or to anie the places of trade and traf&que 
within anie the Domynions of the Graund 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 195 

Signior or anie parte of them or in or to anie 
other parte of the levant or mediterranean 
seas or anie the Islands citties Townes Fortes 
havens creekes or places of traf&que within 
the said levant or mediterranean seas other 
then to these Islands citties Townes Fortes 
havens creekes or places of trafftque within 
the said levant or mediterranean seas hereafter 
pticulerlie mencioned which formerlie weare 
not pcell '* of the priviledges heretofore 
graunted to the former societie videlt " Cartha- 
gena Allegant Denia Valencia Barcelona 
Marcelles Tolone Genua Legome Naples 
Civita Vecha Falermo Mecena Malta Majorca 
Minorcha Corsica and all other ports and 
places of trade uppon the severall costs of 
Spaine ffrance and Tuscan or anie of them 
To all which severall Islandes citties Townes 
Fortes havens creekes and places of trafhque 
being not pcell of the priviledges graunted to 
the said former societie Our will and pleasure 
is that it shall and maye be lawfull to all or 
anie of our loving subjects trading marchan- 
dize albeit they be not free of this Incorpora- 
cion to use trade and traf&que under the pay- 
^' i.e. parcell, '■'' i.e. videlicet. 




ig6 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

merit and condicions hereafter expressed 
And therefore we will and by vertue of our 
prerogative royall do straightlie charge com- 
mand and prohibite for us our heires and 
successors all the subjects of us our heires 
and successors of what degree or quallitie 
soever they be that none of them directly or 
indirectUe doe visitt haunt frequent or trade 
trafifique or adventure by waye of marchan- 
dize into and from the said Signiory of Venice 
the Golfe of Venice the State of Ragousa or 
anie other state or governement within the 
Golfe of Venice or into or from anie the places 
of trade and trafiique within the Domynions 
of the graund Signior or anie parte thereof 
or in or to anie other parte of the levant or 
mediterranean Seas except before excepted 
other then the said Governor and companie 
of marchants of England trading into the 
levant seas and theire successors and such 
pticuler psons as nowe be or hereafter shall 
be of that company theire ffactors agents 
servants and assignes uppon payne not oneUe 
to incurre our indignacion but alsoe to paye 
unto the said Governor and companie theire 
Deputies consuHs and officers imployed eyther 



i 
i 

I 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



197 



within this our Realme of England or in anie 
the partes within the Domynions Signiories 
and places aforesaid by waye of fyne for such 
theire contemptes consulage or imposicions 
after the rate of Twentie uppon the hundred 
according to the valewe of theire goodes soe 
:traded into the places where theire goodes 
or shippes shall be founde anie lawe statute 
custome or ordinance heretofore made or put 
in use to the contrarie thereof not withstand- 
ing Provided alwaies and our expresse will 
iOnd meaning is this priviledge notwithstand- 
ing that the Islands citties Townes havens 
-Portes Creekes and other places of Trafhque 
within the levant or mediterranean seas 
before these presents pticularly mentioned 
and expressed which formerlie weare not pcell 
of the priviledges of the said former societie 
shall not be soe united and annexed to the 
present priviledge of this companie But 
that it shall be lawfull to all and everie pson 
and psons our naturall subjects trading mar- 
chandize to visite anie of those Islands havens 
portes creekes and places of trade albeit they 
be not free of this fellowshippe soe longe as 
they shall be willing to paye and doe paye 



198 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

xinto the said Governor and companie and to 
theire successors consulls and other officers 
resident in those places such consulage as shall 
be by the general courte of the said companie 
reasonablye rated and assessed uppon such 
shippes and marchandize as shall from tyme 
to tyme be sent or traded into anie of the said 
Islands havens Portes creekes and places of 
traffique being noe other than such or the like 
rates which shall be assessed to be paide and 
borne aswell by the bretheren of the said com- 
panie for theire trade in those places as by such 
as are not or shall not be free of the same. 
And further of our more especiall grace cer- 
taine knowledge and meere mocon we will and 
by these presents for us our heires and succes- 
sors graunte to the said Governor and com- 
panie of marchants of England trading into 
the levant seas and theire successors that it 
shall and may be lawfuU to and for the said 
Governor and companie as alsoe the said con- 
suU consulls or vice consulls in the Domynions 
of Turkey the Signiorie of Venice and other 
places of traffique within the levant seas for 
the tyme being or the greater parte of them 
which shall be present at anie courte or assem- 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 199 

bly all and singuler the subjects of us our 
heires and successors not being of the said 
companye of marchants of England trading 
into the levant seas within the Signiorie of 
Venice Ragousa the Gulfe of Venice and the 
Domynions of the graunde Signior which shall 
attempte to use marchandize in the said 
Signiories and Domynions aforesaid contrarie 
to the forme and tenor of these presents to 
punishe at theire will and pleasure according 
to their statutes and ordinances [ ] ^* 

and freelie and lawfuUie compell them and 
everie of them to desist theire attemptes by 
iynes mulcts imprisonment and other paynes 

I (And that all and singuler paines forfeytures 
and amercements leavied and collected or to 
be levied and collected for the violation or 
not observing of anie acts lawes statutes or 
ordinances by the Governor or his Deputie 
and the said assistants and companie or the 
greater parte of them for the tyme being 
present or assembled made or to be made 
shall be leavied by distresse or by anie other 

|4awfull way or meanes as the said Governor 

'* The passage is difficult to decipher. It looks like 
" viz. of this ," the last word being illegible 



200 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



and Assistants of the said Companie or the 
greater nomber of them for the tyme being 
present at anie courte or assembly shall 
thinke meete and shalbe ymployed to the 
use and behoofe of the said Governor and 
companie of marchants of England trading 
into the levant seas and theire successors. 
And further we straightlie charge comande 
and by these presents prohibitt all and singu- 
ler Customers comptrollers and collectors of 
custome pondage and subsidies and all our 
ffermors of all our customes subsidies and 
imposicions and all other officers aswell 
within the Porte of our cittie of London as in 
all other our Ports within our Realme of 
England to whom it shall appertaine and 
everie of them That they or anie of them by 
themselves theire claxkes or substitutes shall 
not takeentrie of anie goodes wares or mar- 
chandize to be transported into the Domynions 
of Turkey the Signiorie of Venice or anie other 
places of traffique within the levant seas 
aforesaid or make anie agreament for anie 
custome poundage or other subsidie for anie 
such goodes wares or marchandize to be 
transported into the Domynions of Turkey 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 201 

the Signiorye of Venice or anie other place 

within the levant seas aforesaid But onely 
of such pson or psons as is or shall be free 
of the said companie by vertue of these our 
Ires patents. And for the better and more 
suer observacion thereof we wiU and graunte 
for us our heires and successors by these 
presents That the lorde Treasorer of Eng- 
land Chancellor and Barons of the Exchequer 
of us our heires and successors for the tyme 
being or anie three or more of them whereof 
the said lord Treasorer for the tyme being to 
be one by force of these presents or thinroU- 
ment thereof in the saide courte of Exchequer 
at all and everie tyme and tymes hereafter 
at and uppon the request of the said Governor 
and companie for the tyme being theire 
attorney or attorneys Deputie or assignes 
shall and maye make and directe under the 
scale of the said courte one or more sufficient 
writt or writts close or patent unto everie or 
anie our said customers or other officers unto 
whorae it shall appertaine comaunding them 
and everie of them therebie that they nor 
anie of them at anie tyme or tymes hereafter 
shall take entrie of anie goodes wares or 



202 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

marchandizes to be transported into the 
DomyTiions of Turkey the Signiorye of Venice 
or anie other places of traffique within the 
levant seas aforesaid with anie pson or psons 
whatsoever other then with or in the name 
of the said Governor and companie aforesaid 
or with or in the name of some pson or psons 
that is or shall be free of the said companie 
by vertue of these our Ires patents Willing 
hereby and straytly charging and corhaunding 
all and singuler Admiralls vice admiralls 
Justices mayors sheriffs Escheators constables 
Bayliffes and all and singuler other our officers 
ministers liegemen and subjects whatsoever 
to be ayding or favoring helping and assisting 
unto the said Governor and companie and 
to theire officer and officers agents and minis- 
ters in the executing and enjoying the pre- 
misses. And further our will and pleasmre 
is and we doe by these presents for us our 
heires and successors ordalne and appoynte 
that all and everie pson and psons which by 
vertue and force of these presents are and 
shall be admytted and made free of the said ' 
corporacon of Governor and companie of 
marchants of England trading into the levant 



^>m 



ffii z^TT-^LTZ ^Tap.-^r 




d I2r -ST.; tT^f::^: A.^mi^ 

or a: nsf T^rrn^t^; 



Ijltiaii^if 



\ iiiiiH-iif 



iron: rrmt t-: mrw to <s^x\^ !^'v. 



sot Ti: be iirvrriv'? 4^tk^, t»>5kV ^an^ \n. 
said cocnarae.. Atj^^x rrsv^vw; >n\^ >N-i'. 
and for 125 onr barst^ avk^ ^n nv*-*^'^'. '• n-^n- 
gramte br these prK«it< tv^ ^T^'^ ^^^^v^ > \^nn^'.*^>>^ 
and compame of nYAroHAr,<> ^m ^nv)^^^>S 
tradbig into the lo\^«t tshnh^ >^^>^< OVi^^^n^ m>> 
cessois That the $Aid iUN\\m>xM >m H<>* ^S ^^\\W 
and the assistants of tho ^<^v^ >^m^N)M^s\\^ ISn^ 
the tyme being or tho mx^v )V(^^^^ \M 1<\>^^^S 
bdng togeather wnth \\w rt^^^ul o< l\w^ j^^vrth^^ 
parte of the com|>rtnio piv^out M M\\\^ \\>^\\M\\\ 
courte shall anil xmy Uy\\\\ \\\\\\^ \\\ <Vhu* 
remove exix^ll ami \\\\\\ \\\\\p ot \\\s^ ^\\\\\ \\s\\\ 



204 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

■panic anie of the said companye which they 
shall knowe or by good testimonie made 
before them fynde to be Retaylers and not 
meere marchants or which shall fall into 
exercising or practizing of offences and prac- 
tizes of evill demeanor for the breaking of 
anie acte statute or ordinance of the said com- 
pany for theire good govemement made or 
published or to be made or published 
and that all psons soe amoved or excluded 
from thenceforth shall by noe meanes 
intermeddle or use anie trade of mar- 
chandize or traffique with the said com- 
panie of marchants of England trading into 
the levant seas. And furthermore of our 
especiall grace certaine knowledge and meere 
mocion we wiU and by these presents for us 
our heires and successors doe graunte unto 
the said Governor and companie of marchants 
of England trading into the levant seas and 
theire successors That the Governor or his 
Deputie or Assistants for the tyme being or 
the greater part of them togeather with the 
consent of the greater parte of the companie 
present at anie generall courte or assembly 
may and shall have full power and aucthoritie 



1 



IXVAKT '['DIIPaXT 5c< 



-tsrnie n* yi=gfr aujiiiiute zresctt and ardaine 

gi{^ ana sat Toantt nfiu:e3s anc mynisters 

^s!^^^ ifnixoL onr dnie a: Landar and in all 

ggier jMans a: onr l<fanne a: Emrlaiid Ar 

0Qass: mn J^mnymsn^ aisae in -ibe said part^ 

lieyoade Ibf: sea^ and t^verit m tbem as t^ tV 

said Goveanaar or in^ Degratie and A$<^tant5 

ajopesaid iar lie rymt hexn^ or the ^rrwit^^r 

parte of iibsm diaD seenie escp^dient f^r th^ 

^Qsxig and cEBcutiiig oi the affaiTtrs arni ISiisi- 

nesBS appertarmiig to the <4Uvi ANm^tin^ 

As aboe to receave gather and I^xt V)V xtis- 

tresse or odier lawfaH way or nt^^^^ x^l^ 

somes of money fynes forfoytxttv?^ ^vn^^lit^^ 

and anaercements of all ai\d c^x^itt"^ ^v^n^n^^ <^!^ 

wdl of the said companio Mii^ A5 {^Kv \Nf <^\\ 

and everie other pson and p!^Mt!^ whu h shA^^ 

attempte to use and cxoixirt^ <k\\w \m\\\^ \\\ 

marchandizes in the sai\l tVv^\VN*^\txv^\^ \si 

Turkey Signiory of Venice^ 4i\\\\ rtll o\ rtUJo \s\\\\''\ 

places or place within tho lovrtul ?^ort^ \\\\s\v 

said and shall be condompnml oi \\m\\\ rulprt* 

ble for theire cvill gi)voinr^inonl \\\ \s\]mv\^ 

againste these our Irof* ]mlf^nN nr iuHi« ^(nlillM 

acte or ordinance by tbc mU\ (lovi»iiH)i dI IiI« 



2o6 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

Deputie or Deputies and assistants for the 
tyme being or the greater parte of them as 
aforesaid made or to be made by vertue of 
these our Ires patents. And ^* further we 
will and by these presents for us our heires 
and successors doe charge and coiiiaunde all 
and everie mayors sheriffes Justices Bayliffes 
constables Customers and all and everie other 
the officers and mynisters of us our heires 
and successors to supporte ayde assiste and 
helpe the said Governor or his Deputie or 
Deputies and the said Assistants of the said 
companye or marchants of England trading 
into the levant seas theire successors offycers 
and mynisters and everie of them in executing 
the said statutes acts and ordinances and to 
punishe the offenders and transgressors untill 
they be fullye satisfied according to the 
penalties and fynes by the said statutes acts 
or ordinances constituted and appoynted or 
hereafter to be constituted and appoynted. 
And yi it happen that the said Governor or 
his Deputie or Deputies and the assistants 

^' The fifth and last sheet of the MS. commences 
here. It is only about a quarter the length of the 
r others. 



* THE LEVANT COMPANY 207 

of the said companie or their successors for 
the tyme being or the greater parte of them 
at anie courte or assembly uppon misbehaviour 
or contempt of anie the lawes and ordinances 
of the said companie do coraytt any of the 
said companie of marchants of England 
trading into the levant seas or anie other the 
subjects or leige people of us our heires or 
successors to anie Goale or Prison according 
to the aucthority hereby given to the said 
Governor and Companie for anie offence 
against the said statutes ordinances and lawes 
or anie of them doiie or comytted Then 
wee will and comaunde and for us our heires 
and successors by these presents doe graunte 
unto the said Governor and Companie of 
marchants of England trading into the levant 
seas and theire successors that from tyme to 
tyme all and everie wardens and keepers of all 
such Goales and Prisons shall receave into 
theire custodie and prison all and everie pson 
soe to hym sent by the Governor or his 
Deputie or Deputies and the said Assistants 
or the greater parte of them soe assembled 
and there safelie keepe them at the coste and 
charge of the said offender or offenders with- 



2o8 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

out anie enlargement without the consent 
and assent of the said Governor or his Deputies 
or Deputies or theire successors for the ty: 
being untill he or they shall be dismissed 
released or enlarged. And that neyther w( 
nor our heires or successors by anie meanes- 
shall remytt or release such offender 
offendors out of prison under bayle or mayne- 
prize without the assent of the said Governor 
his Deputie or Deputies for the tyme beingi 
and untill the said offendors and everie of themi 
in all thinges shall obey and satisfie the said, 
Governor or his Deputie or assistants or the^ 
greater parte of them present according to 
the statutes acts and ordinances aforesaid 
And shall paye such and soe manie ffynes 
penalties forfeytures and amercements as by 
the said Governor or his Deputie Deputies 
or Assistants or theire successors for the tyme 
being or the greater parte of them then present 
at anie courte or assembly as he or they for 
such offence and contenpte shall be adjudged 
to paye AH and everie which paynes fynea" 
forfeytures and amerciaments shall be gatherei 
receaved and leavied to the use of the sail 
Governor and companie of marchants oi 



' THE LEVANT COMPANY 309 

England trading into the levant seas and 
theire successors for ever. And furthermore 
we will and by these presents for us our heires 
and successors straightlie charge andcoinaunde 
all and everie officers mayors sheriffs Justices 
Bayliffes Customers Comptrollers searchers 
and all and everie other mynisters leige people 
and subjects of us our heires and successors 
whatsoever which nowe are or hereafter 
shalbe That they from henceforth be helping 
favouring and assisting to the foresaid Gover- 
nor and his Deputie or Deputies and Assis- 
tants of the companie aforesaid and theire 
successors and alsoe to theire ffactors substi- 
tutes Deputies Officers and servants and 
theire assignes and everie of them in thexecut- 
ing and enjoying of the premisses aswell 
uppon the lande as uppon the sea from tyme 
to tyme whensoever they or anie of them 
shall be thereunto required Although ex- 
presse mention of the true yearelie valewe or 
certaintie of the premisses or of anie of them or 
of anie other giftes or grauntes by us or anie of 
our Progenitors to the aforesaid Governor and 
marchants of England trading into the levant 
seas heretofore made in these presents is not 



210 THE LEVANT COMPANY 

made or anie statute Acte ordinance provision 
or restrainte to the contrarie made ordayned 
or provided or anie or anie other thinge cause 
or matter to the contrarie in anie wise not- 
withstanding. In witnes whereof we have 
•caused these our Ires to be made patents 
Witnes our selfe at Westmynster the ffower- 
tenth daye of December in the thirde yeare 
of our raigne of England ffraunce and Ireland 
and of Scotland the nyne and Thirtith. 
per breve de privato sigillo, 

Clapham. 



APPENDIX II 

GOVERNORS OF THE COMPANY (of the 

reorganized company 1605) 

1. 1605. Sir Thomas Lowe. Nominated in 

the charter of James I. 

2. 1623. Sir Hugh Hammersley. Elected 

8 May, 1623. 

3. 1634. Sir Henry Garraway. Elected 3 

Feb., 1634. 

4. 1643. Alderman Penington.^ 

5. 1653. Alderman Reccards. 

6. 1672. John JoMe. 

7. 1672. George Lord Berkley. 

8. 1695. Sir William Trumbull. 

9. 1709. Right Honorable Sir Richard On- 

slow. 

^ Although my study in the first part of the History 
of the Levant Company goes down only to the year 
1640, yet for the sake of completeness I give the list of 
all thejGovemors of the Company. For the names I 
am indebted to A Short Account, etc. See above, p. 4, 
note (10). 



212 THE LEVANT COMPANY 



10. 1718. 

". 1735 

12. 1766 

13. 1772 

14. 1776 

15. 1792 

16. 1800 



Rt. Hon. James Eaxl of Carnar- 
von. 
John Lord Delawar . 
Anthony Earl of Shaftesbury. 
William Earl of Radnor. 
Frederick Lord North. 
The Duke of Leeds. 
Rt. Hon. Lord Grenville.^ 



2 The Government took over the company in 1821 
(Act 6 George IV. ch. 33), and the charter was sur- 
rendered in 1825. 



APPENDIX III 

AMBASSADORS AT CONSTANTINOPLE (tO 1640) 

1. 1582. William Harbome. 

2. 1588. Edward Barton. 

3. I597-' 

4. — Paul Pindar. 

5. 1619. Sir John Eyre. Appointed i July, 

1619. 

6. 1621. Sir Thomas Rowe. Called " the 

now elect ambassador " in 
Min. 31 July, 1621. 

7. 1626. Sir Peter Wiche. Chosen 6 March, 

1626. 

8. 1638. Sir Sackville Crow. 

^ Edward Barton remained ambassador until his 
death, January i, 1597. I have been miable to discover 
whether he was succeeded by any one before Pindar, or 
whether Pindar was his direct successor. Pindar is 
first mentioned in the minutes under date November 
4, 1614. But as the minutes of meetings before 1614 
are lost, it is impossible to say when he was appointed. 



213 



APPENDIX IV 

CONSULS AND VICE-CONSULS AND THEIR SEATS 

I. There were consuls in the time of Elizabeth 
at the following places : Scio, Patras, 
Tripoli, Aleppo, Alexandria and Al- 
giers.^ 

CONSUL : 

2. Smyrna, 1611 Mr. Markham. 

3. Aleppo, 30 Sept., 1614 ^ Mr. Bartholo- 

mew Hag- 
gatt. 

4. Cio, 2 Sept., 1614 Mr. Markham. 

5. Patras, 14 Feb., 1615 Mr. John Webb. 

VICE-CONSUL : 

6. Aleppo, 14 Feb., 1615 Mr. Libby Chap- 

man. 

CONSUL : 

27 Mch., 1617 Mr. Libby Chap- 
man. 

1 See document in Turkey Papers, Bundle I. The 
document has no date, but it speaks of the loss which 
" her majesty " would have if the Turkish trade were 
abandoned. Hence it is EUzabethan. 

2 The date following the name of the place is that 
of the minute where the appointment is made. 

214 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 215 

VICE-CONSUL : 

« 

7. Smyrna, ii Sept., 1616 Mr. Richard 

Milward, 

CONSUL : 

8. Naples, 26 March, 1617 Mr. WilUam 

Norton. 

9. Aleppo, 31 July, 1621 Mr. Kirkham. 

10. Leghorn, 19 Sept., 1621 Mr. Richard Al- 

len. 

11. Algiers, 27 Nov., 1621 Sir Thomas Glo- 

ver. 

12. Smyrna, 30 July, 1622 Mr. Markham. 

13. Smyrna, 11 Nov., 1624 Mr.^ Salter. 

14. Aleppo, I May, 1627 ^r- Potton. 

" PUBLIC 
MINISTER : " 

15. Zant, I Oct., 1628 Mr. John Cow- 

ley. 

CONSUL : 

16. Aleppo, 3 March, 1629 Mr. John Wain- 

deford. 

17. Patras, 3 March, 1629 Mr. Humphrey 

Bunnington. 

18. Smyrna, 29 July, 1630 Mr. Lawrence 

Green. 



2i6 THE LEVANT COMPANY 



19. Smyrna, 22 Feb., 1633 

20. Smyrna, 8 July, 1635 



21. Cyprus,^ 2 June, 1636 



22. Zant & Cephalonia, 10 

March, 1637 

23. Aleppo, 25 Oct., 1638 



Mr. John Free- 
man. 

Mr. Edward 
Barnard. 

VICE-CONSUL : 

Mr. Richard Glo- 
ver. 

CONSUL : 

Mr. Thomas Sy- 

monds. 
Mr. Edward 

Barnard.* 



^ At the Court of Assistants of May 19, 1636, a letter 
was read from Mr. Glover, " who hath taken upon 
himself the consulship of Cyprus," asking for the com- 
pany's approbation. The court approved, holding 
" that it was very necessary to have a consul in that 
place.*' At the General Court held June 2, 1636, Glover 
was appointed vice-consul, with the consulage of his 
place towards his maintenance, and he was to be sub- 
ordinate to the consul at Aleppo. 

* He had been consul at Smyrna since July 8, 1635 
(see No. 20 in Hst). Evidently, then, the position at 
Aleppo was more important. 



APPENDIX V 

LIST OF SHIPS BELONGING TO THE COMPANY.* 

I. Ships trading Zant and Candia in 1581.^ 

TONS 
B 

(i) The Primrose . 

(2) The George Bonaven- 
ture 

(3) The Ascension . 

(4) The Suzanne ... 

(5) The Thomas Bonaven- 
ture 

(6) The Charity 

(7) The Toby, of Harwich 

(8) The Royal Merchant . 

(9) The Edward Bonaven- 

ture 250 50 

^ Many of the ships are given in more than one list, 
but I have enumerated all the Hsts as they stand, for 
the freight and the sailors of the same ship appear to 
be different in different cases. Moreover, it is interest- 
ing to note when new ships appear and old ones dis- 
appear. * * ^ S. P, D, Eliz, vol. 149, No. 58. 

217 



TRDEN. 


HEN. 


300 


60 


150 


35 


180 


35 


300 


50 


100 


25 


140 


30 


140 


28 


350 


60 



222 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



MEN. 

(73) The Gift of God, of Harwich 25 

(74) The Alice Thomas .... 30 

(75) The George Bonaventure . . 30 

(76) The Ascension 35 

(77) The Phoenix 25 



7. List of ships.^ No date. 

(78) The Great Suzanne 

(79) The Royal Exchange 



(80) The Hercules 

(81) The Ascension 

(82) The Consent 

(83) The Mayflower 

(84) The Report "j 

(85) The Cherubim 

(86) The Centurion } 

(87) The Angel 

(88) The Mignon J 

(89) The Merchant Bonaventure 

(90) The George Bonaventure 
(gi) The JoUian (? Juhan) 
(92) The Charity 



of 350 tons 
each and 
70 men. 



of 300 tons each 
and 60 men. 



of 200 tons each 
and 50 men. 



of 100 
tons 
each 
and 40 
men. 



» S. P. D. Eliz. vol. 253, No. 18. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 223 



8. " A content of such shipping as we the 
merchants trading Turkey ' do look 
daily for to come home out of the Straits 
he as follows " *" (i595) : — 



(93) 
(94) 
(95) 
(96) 

(97) 
(98) 

(99) 
(100) 

(lOl) 

(102) 



The Jewell 
The Centurion . 
The Royal Exchange 
The Great Suzanne 

The " & Eliza 

beth .... 



The Merchant Bona 
venture ... 
The Hercules 
The George Bonaven 

ture .... 
The Angel. 
The Gyllyon [? Juhan 

cf. (91)] . . . . 



TONS 
BURDEN. 

130 

200 
250 
260 



250 

140 
180 



MEN. 

44 
60 

66 



60 16 



35 
60 

35 
40 



130 30 



• i.e. Levant merchants. The first Levant Company 
was incorporated 1592. 

^^ Turkey Papers, Bundle 3. The docimients in 
this (as in the previous) bundle are imnumbered. This 
particular one is dated 1595. 

1^ I could not make out this part of the name in the 
MS. 



^m 224 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 


^ 


^H 


TONS 


1 


^^1 


BURDEN. 


MEN. ■ 


^^1 (103) The Prosperous 


200 


44 1 


^H (104) The Recovery. 


80 


.0 1 


^H g. Ships belonging to the Levant Company in | 


^H 1600.^' 






^M (105) The Hector . . 


350 


70 


^^M (106) The Great Suzanne 


300 


60 


^H (107) The Royal Merchant 


300 


60 


^H (108) The Ascension 


300 


60 


^^M (j'^9) The Darling . 


240 


30 


^H (no) The Cherubim 


220 


50 


^H (in) The Centurion 


180 


40 


^M (112) The Charity . . 


160 


36 


^H (113) The Saker . . . 


140 


36 


^H (114) The Royal Defence 


140 


36 


^H- (115) The Perigrine . 


120 


30 


^H (116) The Lanavit (?) . 


100 


25 


^B (117) The Little George 


100 


23 


^^M (iiS) The Anne Frane ^^ 


140 


33 


^M 12 s. p. D. Eliz. vol. 276, No. 6 






^^H 1* With regard to the ships numb 


red 105 to 


118 the 


^^H document says that those were shi 


s " of the Levant ■ 


^^B Company which they be owners ol 


" And as 


to the ■ 


^^^k ships numbered 119 to 130, these 


are described as ^| 


^^K " ships freighted this year by them 


or the port 


s of the ■ 


^^H Venetians and Turlcey " ; while in 


he case of the last H 


^^H three the destination is given as Man 


.eilles and Leghorn. ^| 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 225 



(119) The Phoenix . 

(120) The Edward Bona- 

venture .... 

(121) The Swallow . 

(122) The Angel .... 

(123) The Greyhound . 

(124) The John Francis 

(125) The Diamond . 

(126) The Rebecca. 

(127) The Elnathan . 

(128) The Suzanne Pamell . 

(129) The Royal Merchant 

(130) The Desire 

(131) The William Fortune 

(132) The Guest, of Dart- 

mouth .... 

(133) The Dragon . 



10. Ships given in a document ^* dated 8 July^ 
1605. 

TONS 
BURDEN. 

(134) The Royal Exchange . . 300 

(135) The Royal Merchant . . 300 

^* 5, P. D, James L vol. 15, No. 14. 

9 



TONS 




BURDEN. 


MEN. 


300 


50 


160 


40 


150 


35 


140 


35 


140 


35 


130 


35 


140 


35 


160 


36 


80 


20 


200 


45 


300 


60 


120 


30 


200 


45 


120 


35 


160 


40 



226 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



(136) The 

(137) The 

(138) The 

(139) The 

(140) The 

(141) The 

(142) The 

(143) The 

(144) The 

(145) The 

(146) The 

(147) The 

(148) The 

(149) The 

(150) The 

(151) The 

(152) The 

(153) The 

(154) The 

(155) The 

(156) The 

(157) The 

(158) The 

(159) The 



Alcede .... 
Great Phoenix 
Thomas & William 
Darling .... 
Trinity .... 
Cherubin 
Susan Pamell . 
Royal Defence 
Angel .... 
Roebuck . 
Mary Anne. 
Saker .... 
Mary Const 
Triumph . 
Swallow 
Husband . 
Alathia. 

Centurion . . . 
Edward Bonaventure 
Amity 
Merchant Bonaventure 
John Francis . 
Cosklett (?) 
Greyhound , . 



1 
) 



TONS 
BURDEN . 

300 

220 



200 



180 
180 
180 



160 



140 
140 
140 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 227 



(160) The Salamander 

(161) The Samuel 

(162) The Phonix 

(163) The George Bonaventure 

(164) The Hope .... 



TONS 
BURDEN. 

140 

120 
120 
120 
120 



II. Ships mentioned in Minutes of the Court 
Meetings under various dates. 



23 Nov., 1625. 
I Dec, 1625. 
22 Dec, 1625. 
22 Dec, 1625. 

30 Jan., 1625. 
6 Feb., 1625. 



(165) The Rainbow 

(166) The Sampson . 

(167) The Clement . 

(168) The Job . • . 

(169) The William & 

Ralphe . 

(170) The Margaret . 

(171) The Royal Ex-^ 

change . 

(172) The Royal Mer- 

chant 

(173) The George Bona-\ ^ Aug., 1627. 

venture . . ./ 

(174) The John Bonaven- 

ture . 

(175) The Samuel . 

(176) The Hercules . , 







^K 228 THE EARLY 


HISTORY OF 


^^B (177) The Saphire 


. 18 March, 1627. 


^H (178) The Cock . 


. 4 Nov., 1629. 


^^H (179) The Mangold 


. 30 Nov., 1629. 


^H (180) The Jane . 


. 3 Feb., 1629. 


^H (181) The Industry 


. 24 Oct., 1633. 


^H (182) The Unicorn 


. 8 Feb., 1629. 


^H (183) The London 


. 20 Oct., 1631. 


^H (184) The Paragon 


. 18 July, 1632. 


^H (185) The Salutatior 


, of 


^^H Yarmouth 


. 14 Nov., 1632. 


^H (186) The Mary . 
^H (187) The Dehght 


'1 24 Oct., 1633. 


^H (188) The Wmiam & 




^^H Thomas 


. 30 Oct., 1633. 


^H (189) The Greenfield 


. 30 Oct., 1633. 


^^V (190) The Merchant ! 


5on- 


aventure 


. 30 Oct., 1633. 


'. (191) The Resolutioi 


1 . 30 Oct., 1633. 


^K (192) The EUzabeth 


& 


^H Dorcas 


. 9 Jan., 1633. 


^^H (^93) The Scipio 


. 10 Dec, 1634. 


^H (194) The Lewis 


• 24 July, 1635. 


^^M (195) The Hector 


. 16 June, 1636. 


^H (196) The Ulysses 


. 21 Sept., 1637. 


^^^ (197) The Concord 


. 25 May, 1638. 


^^M (198) The Freeman 


. 25 Oct., 1638. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 229 



(199) The Jonas 


27 Nov. 


, 1638. 


(200) The Aleppine or 






Aleppo Merchant 


19 Feb. J 


, 1638. 


(201) The Thomasine . 


19 Feb. J 


, 1638. 


(202) The Society . 


3 July, 


1639. 


(203) The Diamond . . 


3 Aug., 


1639. 


(204) The John . . . 


20 Dec. J 


. 1639. 


(205) The Experience . 


9 Nov., 


1640. 



APPENDIX VI 



LIST OF PORTS 1 

I. The names of the Ports which the old 
company did enjoy in the Signiory of 
Venice and Turkey by virtue of their 
privilege :— 

1. The City of Venice | 

2. Zant [ in the Signiory 

3. Zephalonia I of Venice. 

4. Candia ) 

5. Scio 

6. Constantinople 

7. Alexandretta, the port 

of Aleppo 

8. Tripoli 

9. Alexandria 

10. Algiers 

11. Cyprus Island 

^ S. P. D. James I. vol. 17, No. 36. There is no 
date. 

230 



in Turkey. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 231 

II. Over and besides the Ports above men- 
tioned the new company are promised 
the following ports : — 

1. Juberalterra [Gibraltar]. 

2. Malaga. 

3. Carthagena. 

4. Allicant. 

5. Denia [S.W. Spain]. 

6. Valentia. 

7. Barcelona. 

8. Marseilles. 

9. Talone [Toulon]. 

10. The Isles of Eryes [? Hyers or Golden 

Isles, to S. of France]. 

11. Janna [Genoa]. 

12. Ligorno [Leghorn]. 

13. Civita Vechia, port of Rome. 

14. Naples. 

15. Messina. 

16. Palermo. 

17. Majorca ) 

18. Minorca 1 ^^^^^^^• 

19. Malta. 

20. Ancona. 

21. Ragusa. 



APPENDIX VII 

IMPOSITIONS ^ 

I. The following table gives the impositions 
on the goods named when exported 
from, or imported into Turkey. But 
if exported from or imported into 
Venice they were assessed at half the 
rate. 

1. Assa Fetida, per bale, 2s. 2 pence. 

2. Aloes epatica, per bale, 2s. 

3. Aloes succatrina, per bale, 10 pence. 

4. Broad cloths, per pair, 3 shillings. 

5. Bridgwaters, per pair, 8 pence. 

6. Benjamin,^ per cwt, 5 shillings. 

7. Balsatians, per bale, 2 shillings. 

8. Botanos, per bale, 5 shillings. 

9. Cony skins, per cent.,^ 8 pence. 
10. Cochinelle,* per pound, 3 pence. 

^ These lists, which are based on previous lists of 
the year 1608, were adopted in 1631. Cf. Min, Feb- 
ruary 4, 1631. 

2 Benjamin = Bensoin, a drug much used in perfumery. 

^ i.e. for each 100 skins. Cf. hides. 

* Cochinelle= cochineal, a drug used in dyeing scarlet. 

282 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 233 

11. Copper, per cwt., i shilling. 

12. Calicoes, per bale, 4 shillings. 

13. Calico lawnes, per pair, i penny. 

14. Cassia fistula, per cent., i shilUng. 

15. Cloves, per cwt., 4 shillings. 

16. Chambletts,^ per bale of 40 pair, 10 

shillings. 

17. Calamus, per bale, i shilling. 

18. Cardamoins, per bale, 5 shillings. 

19. Comashes, per bale, 5 shillings. 

20. Carpets, 50 single chest, per bale, 5 

shillings. 

21. Cordevants,* per bale, 5 shillings. 

22. Cotton wools of Smyrna, per bag, i shill. 

6 pence. 

23. Cotton wools of Cyprus, per bag, 2 shills. 

24. Cotton yam, per bag, 2 shills. 6 pence. 

25. Campechia wood, per cwt., 6 pence. 

26. Enforbium, per cwt., 8 pence. 

27. Elephants' teeth, per cent., 2 shills. 

28. Fitches,' per timber,^ 2 pence. 

^ Chambletts =: chamblotts, a stuff mixed with camel's 
hair. 

• Cordevants = cordovan, a sort of goatskin leather 
made in Cordova. 

' Fitches = fur of the pole-cat (a kind of weasel). 

® A timber of skins = 40. 



^^ 234 


THE EARLY HISTORY OF fl 


29. 


Farnando Buck, per cent., i shill. H 


30. 


Ginger, per cwt., i shill. ^M 


31- 


Grograines, per bale of 34 [? yards] * 8 ^M 




shiU. ■ 


32- 


Grograine yarn, per cwt., 2 shills. ^M 


33- 


Goats' wool or camel's hair, per cwt., 8 ^M 




pence. ^M 


34- 


Gallingall, per bale, 2 shillings, ^^| 


33- 


Galls, per cwt., 6 pence. ^^^^^| 


36. 


Gum arabic, per bale, i shilling. |^^^H 


37- 


Gum lac, per bale, 2 shillings. ^^^^^B 


38. 


Galbanum, per bale, 3 shillings. ^H 


39- 


Hides— Bulgazer red, per cent., 6 sh. 8 p. ^^ 


40. 


Iron, per ton, 2 shill. ^| 


41- 


Indigo, per chest, 10 shill. ^H 


42. 


Kersies (north), per pair, 8 pence. ^M 


43- 


Kersies (Ham), per pair, i shill. ^M 


44- 


Latten,^" per cent., 4 pence. ^H 


45- 


Latten wire, per cent., 8 pence. ^M 


46. 


Lignum Aloes, per cent., 5 shills. ^^^H 


47- 


Lignum vitse, per cent., 8 pence. J^^^^H 


48. 


Lead, per fother," i shill. 6 pence^'^^^^H 


49- 


Logwood, per cent., 6 pence. ^^^^H 


9 


The word is badiy written in the MS. ^^^^^| 


^ 1 


Latten = iron tinned over. ^^^^^H 


k. 


A Fother of lead ^ 19J cwt. ^^^^^H 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 235 

50. Long pepper, per bale, 5 shiUs. 

51. Morses' ^* teeth, per cent., 2 shill. 6 pence. 

52. Martin skins, per timber,® 3 shills. 

53. Maces,^^ per cwt., 5 shills. 

54. Mastick,** per chest, 6 shill. 8 pence. 

55. Mirabnlanes, per bale, i shill. 

56. Mirtha, per bale, 2 shill. 

57. Nutmegs, per bale,- 6 shill. 8 pence. 

58. Nux de bene, per bale, 2 shills. 

59. Olibanum, per bale, i shill. 

60. Opium, per bale, 5 shill. 

61. Pepper, per bag, 3 shill. 

62. Pewter, per cwt., i shill. 

63. Quilts, per bale, 5 shiU. 

64. Raisins, per bale, 3 pence 

65. Rhubarb, per pound, 2 pence. 

66. Red Lead, per cent., 3 pence. 

67. Squirrel skins, per mill, i shill. 4 pence. 

68. St. Martin's Wood, per cent., 8 pence. 

69. Cinnamon, per bale, 6 shill. 8 pence. 

70. Soap, per ton, 5 shill. 

71. Sednary, per bale, 2 shill. 

72. Sal ammoniac, per bale, 6 shill. 



^2 A morse is a sea-ox. 

^* Maces were a kind of spice. 

^* Mastick = a kind of gum. 



f 


IPVI^I 


23f 


THE EARLY HISTORY OF 


73- 


Storax,^^ per bale, 8 shill. 


74- 


Sanguis draconis, per bale, 6 shill. 8 




pence. 


75- 


Scamony," per bale, 10 shill. 


76. 


Seney, per bale, 3 shill. 4 pence. 


77- 


Sables, per timber,* 3 shillings. 


78. 


Steel, per cwt., 4 pence. 


79- 


Tyncall, per cent., 4 shill. 8 pence. 


80. 


Terra Umbra, per cwt., 2 pence. 


81. 


Tobacco, per cwt., 5 shillings. 


82. 


Tallow, per ton, i shill. 8 pence. 


83. 


Tin, per cent., i shill. 


84. 


Turmerick,^^ per bale, 2 shill. ^^^^^M 


85. 


Turbith,i» per bale, 10 shill. ^^^H 


86. 


Wire, per cwt., 8 pence. ^^^^H 


87. 


Wormseed, per bale, 6 shiU. 8 pence. ^^M 


II. 


The following goods have impositions at ^H 




the same rate, whether it is Turkey ^| 




or Venice that they are exported ^H 




from or imported into : ^| 


I. 


Argall, per cent., 3 pence. ^^^ 


2. 


Almonds, per cent., 6 pence. ^^^^^M 


1 


a gum. '^^^^^H 




Scamony = a gum. ^^^^^H 




Turmerick = the root of an Arabian herb. ^^H 


k 


Turbith = a herb of violent purging quality. ^H 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 237 

3. Allum, per ton, 5 shills. 

4. Brimstone, per cent., 2 pence. 

5. Caviare, per ton, 8 pence. 

6. Calves' skins, per dozen, 2 pence. 

7. Copper as,^* per cent., i penny. 

8. Currants, per cent., 4 pence. 

9. Comenseeds,^® per cent., 3 pence. 

10. Ebony, per cent., 6 pence. 

11. Flax, per ton, 5 shills. 

12. Gunpowder, per barrel, 8 pence. 

13. Goatskins, per dozen, 2 pence. 

14. Herring, per barrel, i penny. 

15. Hides muscovia,^^ per cent., 3 shill. 4 

pence. 

16. Hides, india, per cent., 6 shill. 8 pence. 

17. Lanthorne horns, per ,22 2 shill. 

18. Muscadelles,23 per Butt, 2 shill. 

19. Mohaires, per bale of 40 pair, 5 shill. 

20. Oil, per ton of 252 gallons, 6 shill. 8 

pence. 

21. Silk, per bale, 6 shill. 8 pence. 

^* Copper as = vitriol. 

^^ Comenseeds = ? Cummin seed. 

2^ = ? Russian hides. 

22 Cannot make out this word. It occurs again at 

sheepskins. 

23 Muscadelles = a kind of sweet wine. 



238 THE LEVANT COMPANY 

22. Raw silk, per bale, 20 shill. 

23. Mosea silk, per bale, 10 shill. 

24. Swordblades, per dozen, 4 pence. \ 

25. Sheepskins, per ,^^ 1 shill. 4 pence. I 

26. Sugar, per cent., 4 pence. = 

27. Wax, per cent., 8 pence. ) 




I. It may please your honours [to be] * 
advertized that William Harbronne being in 
Constantinople in 1578 procured of the Grand 
Signior for Mr. Edward Osborne, of London, 
alderman Richard Stapers, merchant, and 
himself (at our great charge) a peculiar license 
of free travel into all places of his dominions, 
as by the same appeareth, which by the said 
Grand Signior his letters signified to her 
majesty, and he desired the same might be 
general to ail other her subjects, and by the 
like letters required Mustafa Beg his chief 

1 In Turkey Papers, Bundle I. There is no data 
But the Sultan's charter is mentioned. This was 
granted in 1580, and Harbome's commission as ambassa- 
dor was dated 1582. The document falls between these 
two dates. 

^ There is a piece here torn away. I suggest " to 
be " as the words missing. 



240 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

interpreter of the Latin tongue to employ his J 
service in furtherance thereof, as also the! 
late Mr. Secretary Wilson commanded Har- 
bronne in her majesty's name to perform his I 
diligent endeavour in attaining the same, 
promising a due consideration to be had of 
the expense, by several letters extant is 
apparent. 

§ 2. Whereupon according to our duty wej 
procured the said general charter, with 
safe conduct for her majesty's ambassado^ 
thither, the charges thereof cost your honours' ' 
suppliants about 600 pounds sterling, as by 
account ready to be seen is manifest. 

§ 3. Since the receipt of which charterj 
well accepted, her majesty promised by herj 
letters to send thither her ambassador to ' 
gratify his good will and confirm the same, 
whose presence accordingly is hourly expected, , 
which except it be speedily performed (fori 
that the Grand Signior will otherwise thinkl 
himself deluded) according as Mustafa his ' 
last letters did import, may offer him occasion . 
to repeal the said charter and also makeJ 
frustrate ^ our private license, which both wel 
3 The MS. here was "fustrate." 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 241 

have purchased, as above said, with great 
charge. 

Of the premisses we thought it our bounden 
duty to put your honours in remembrance, 
especially considering the mighty power of 
this prince (in service to none) (said to be) a 
very friend of his friend, and the like heavy 
enemy to his contrary, whom, as also any 
other, although her majesty (God be praised) 
needeth not in any respect whatsoever, yet 
his uninvited amity tending (as hereunder 
mentioned) to the benefit of her people and 
country is not (under your honours' correc- 
tion) to be refused. 

1. First, her majesty pleasing to use of the 

Grand Signior in any matter of estate, 
having her agent there continually 
resident, the same may be readily 
effectuated. 

2. Her majesty shall hereby preserve her 

subjects (given free by virtue of this 
license) from future captivity in his 
dominions, the redemption of which 
in these 20 years (no doubt) hath 
cost this realm four thousand pounds, 
and yet divers to this day remain there 



r 



242 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

unrescated* of which some (the more 
be pitied) have turned Turks for avoid- 
ing the great extremities of most 
miserable barbarous cruelty. 

3. Her majesty shall increase the navy of 

the realm, for that this trade must be 
followed with great and tall ships, and 
furthermore, all her subjects not using 
this trade, in the like vessels may 
boldly deal as accustomed within the 
straits at all times more freely than 
heretofore they have done, deprived of 
former fear of captivity. 

4. Her majesty's customs hereby shall be 

increased, for that we shall not only 
bring into this realm commodities of 
Turkey needful to serve the same but 
also thereof to serve other countries 
near adjoining, which, landed here, 
payeth inwards and so her majesty's 
customs thereby advanced. 

5. Also, her majesty shaU do good to her 

country and people in that we having 
this trade, shall bring the commodities 
of Turkey directly hither, the abund- 
* I suppose tliis niemis " unrcscued." 



p 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 243 

■ ance whereof shall procure the greater 
( intercourse of strangers from the 

■ northern and eastern countries to buy 
the same here, which they were accus- 
tomed to fetch out of the Levant parts. 

In consideration whereof a humble suit 
unto your honours to be a mean to her majesty 
to send over her ambassador or agent to the 
said Grand Signior to confirm and ratify the 
said general charter, whose charge if it please 
not her majesty to supply, then we humbly 
desire that her majesty of her most gracious 
liberality will vouchsafe to grant us towards 
the same as followeth : 

I. Imprimis for so much as of necessity a 
present might be first given to the Grand 
Signior from her majesty, (according to 
! usual customs of all other princes their 

ambassadors or agents at their first 
coming, in token of their masters' 
goodwill and friendship) that it would 
please her majesty to do the like for 
that the same must be presented as a 
gift sent him from her majesty, which 
in value may amount to one thousand 
pounds sterling. 



i 



a44 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

• 2. And for the supporting by us (as above- 
said) of all charges to any such am- 
bassador or agent incident, it may 
please her majesty to rent us the 
customs of our goods, in and out, for 

I ' the same trade of Turkey only, at some 

reasonable rate for these seven years. 
3. Otherwise, that for such goods as we 
shall bring into this realm out of 
Turkey, that if we transport and send 
any part out of this realm again, to be 
sold in any other country, that then 
for the same we may have the customs 
which we paid inwards returned and 
allowed to us again, for that thereby 

I her majesty loseth nothing, the same 

growing of such things as cometh in 
more than the realm needeth, which 
now is not brought in at all. 
Otherwise, that it may please her majesty 
to defer the payment of her customs 

I for the said trade, in and out, into the 

end of the aforesaid seven years. 

This amity begun (we suppose) is likely 

always to continue, her majesty sending over 

at the change of every Grand Signior a present 

.as aforesaid. 



r 



I 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 245 

Thus craving your honours' pardon of our 
presumption in the premises in what may be 
offensible referring the expedient to your 
honours' most grand and perfect wise judg- 
ment, to which we your humble suppliants 
wholly commit ourselves. 

2 

A consideration of the trade into Turkey, 1580, 

by Mr. Secretary Walsingham.* 

In all trades two things principally are to 
be considered, profit and surety ; for if they 
be not joined together they are in no wise to 
be attempted. 

Touching the profit that may ensue by 
trade into the Turk's dominions, it may be 
comprehended in these points following :— 

First, you shall set a great number of your 
greatest ships in work whereby your navy 
shall be maintained, one of the principallest 
strengths and defence of this realm, which 
otherwise were like to decay. 

You shall vend your own commodities with 
most profit, which before did fall into strangers' 
hands. 

You shall furnish not only this realm but 
^ 5. P. D. Eliz. vol. 144, No. 70. 



246 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



also the most part of the hitherpart of Europe 
with such commodities as are transported 
out of the said Turk's dominions to the great 
enriching of this realm. 

Touching surety, which is the principal 
matter we ought to have care of, we are first 
to consider who will seek to impeach the 
traffic by reason of the incomodity they shall 
receive thereby. 

The principal traders into his dominions 
are the Italians, especially the Venetians, and 
the French who do transport from Venice and 
Marseilles the most part of the Kersies made 
in this realm to his dominions, as also make 
return of such commodities as are brought 
from thence : somewhat also is done by those 
of Ragousa, who also, it is to be thought, will 
join with the other two in opposing themselves 
to our trade that way. 

It is also to be looked for that the King of 
Spain who can never be long without wars 
with the Turk will seek also to impeach any- 
thing that may be to his benefit, being also 
not the best affected towards us. 

"^he ways they will take to impeach us will 
Lbe two — by fines and by force. 



Touching the impeaching us by fines or art, 
it is to be looked for that the Venetians and 
the French King, having their ambassador at 
Constantinople will seek by some indirect 
practise to discountenance such of her majesty's 
subjects as shall trade thither. 

Touching the impeaching us by force, the 
Venetians who always keep certain galleys 
upon the seas for the defence of their traffic 
against the corsairs will, no doubt of it, unless 
our ships go very strong, seek, by all the 
means that they may, to distress them, in 
which action the French will easily be drawn 
to concur with them ; beside, the Italian 
merchants that have now the trade here will 
seek underhand to draw the King of Spain 
by some offer of contribution to join with the 
other two, who shall be able, after he is 
possessed of the Kingdom of Portugal, greatly 
to impeach us, having forts on both sides the 
Straits. 

To meet with these inconveniences and to 
provide some probable way of surety, the first 
thing that is to be done to withstand their 
fines is to make choice of some apt man to be 
sent with her majesty's letters unto the Turks 



h 



248 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

to procure an ample safe-conduct, who is 
always to remain there at the charge of the 
merchants, as agent to impeach the indirect 
practices of the said ambassadors, whose 
repair ' thither is to be handled with great 
secrecy, and his voyage to be performed rather 
by land than by sea, for that otherwise the 
Italians that are here will seek underhand that 
he may be disgraced at his repair thither, and 
therefore it shall be very well done to give 
out that in respect of the danger of the traffic 
her majesty cannot be induced that her sub- 
jects shall trade thither. 

To withstand the force, great care is to be 
had in good choice of ships, to see that the 
same be well furnished both of men and muni- 
tions, and also it is to be thought that unless 
twenty sail may be set on work they shall not 
be of sufficient strength to withstand those 
that win seek to impeach them, wherein care 
would be had that they pass not the strait 
nor coast of France, Spain and Italy in time 
of calms, and therefore it would be ordered 
that the voyages might be so performed as 
that both in their going and return they might 
pass in the winter seas. 

" Cf. p. 9 above, note (a6). 



r 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 249 

Now in this point of defence as also that 
the traffic may be beneficial, these things 
following are to be considered : 

First, whether that the said twenty ships 

I well furnished shall be able to pass 

without danger of those that shall seek 
to impeach them. 
, Secondly, whether that there be sufficient 
commodities within the realm to lade 
the said twenty ships, wherein care is 
to be had tliat no greater quantity be 
transported thither than the prices of 
our wares will be abased, which at the 
I first selling of the trade may prove very 

y prejudicial and therefore it were very 

good a calculation were made what 
, Kersics have been transported yearly 

by the Italians and Ragousers out of 
this realm, whereof the greatest part 
hath been sent into Turkey, as also 
what Kersies are sold yearly by our 
merchants that trade into France to 
those of Marseilles. 
Thirdly, if there be no sufficient commodities, 
whether the same may not be supplied 
sufficiently for the lading of the said 



! 250 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

ships out of the countries next adjoin- 
ing with vendible commodities in those 
parts. 

Fourthly, whether the freight of the said 
ships being so thoroughly manned for 
defence will not be so chargeable to the 
merchant as it will discourage him. 

Fifthly, whether there shall be that vent of 
our Kersies during the wars between 
the said Turks and the Sophy as was 
before the said wars. A matter to be 
enquired of by the party that is to be 
sent, before the voyage be attempted. 

Sixthly, whether the said ships shall all go 
to Constantinople or whether some of 
them shall not go to Alexandria and to 
Tripoli, when it is likely they shall 
have good vent, for that both these two 
ports do serve well for Aleppo, being 
the staple towns for those Kersies that 
are dispersed into Persia. As also at 
Alexandria they shall be best furnished 
of spices and- other commodities fit for 
those places, 

Seventhly, how the said ships dividing 
themselves as is aforesaid, may meet 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 2$t 



I together in some convenient place, 

' before they pass the Straits, whereby 

they may return with more safety. 
Eighthly, to procure the Turk's letters to 
the King of Barbary and the rest of 
' the princes of Africa that the ports 

there may be free for our merchants, 
as also in case of necessity to have a 
safe conduct of galleys from Algiers, 
to pass the Straits withal. 
Divers other cautions may be added hereunto 
upon conference with skilful merchants and 
others acquainted with the Midland seas. 

3 

A '—The Letter 

Endorsed : The humble petition of the 

merchants trading Turkey and Venice for 

confirmation of their trade, uniting them in 

one patent. 

Whereas we have been of long time humble 
suitors to your honour for uniting the Turkey 
and Venice Companys into one body politic 



' See above, p. 28, note (5}. S. P. D. Eliz. vol, 239, 




254 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

is pleased to forbear the said merchants six 
months upon their bond to the customer for 
the same. 

6. That for such customs we shall be due 
to her majesty for goods shipped out of this 
realm, if the same miscarry by the way, her 
majesty is pleased to allow them custom again 
upon the next goods they shall ship forth. 

7. Goods brought into the country and 
exported within 18 months are to be exempt 
from customs. 

8. Her majesty doth prohibit all persons to 
bring into this realm any currants, [wines 
of Candy] ^^ or sweet Greekish oil, but the 
said company or their assignes upon payment. 
Provided always if the state of Venice do take 
away such new imposts as they have made 
upon her majesty's subjects there, that then 
the subjects of the said state of Venice shall 
also bring in their commodities here, paying 
only her majesty's duties, as in former times 
they had done. 

g. A prohibition to all her majesty's sub- 



•" The MS. is torn here. The expression is very pro- 
bably " wines of candy," as it is in the parallel passage 
in paragraph 10. 



W THE LEVANT COMPANY 255 

jects and others to trade from this realm into 
and from any of the places granted as aforesaid 
upon pain of hermajesty's high displeasure and 
loss of their ships and goods as adventured, 
and imprisonment for their contempt. The 
half to her majesty and the other to the said 
company, to be allowed them by virtue hereof. 

10. A commandment to all customers not 
to take entry or make any agreement for the 
customs of any currants, wines of Candy, or 
Greekish oils without consent of the said mer- 
chants, and that the said merchants may have 
Writ out of the Exchequer to the said custo- 
mers to the same effect. 

11. That the said merchants may make and 
use a common seal and may wear in their 
flags and ... in their ships her majesty's 
arms with the red cross and white over the 
same. 

The names of the merchants to be inserted 
in the patent :— 

Sir Edward Osborne, Thomas Cordall, 

Sir George Barn, Edward Holmden, 

Mr. Richard Martin, William Garraway, 

Mr. John Hart, Paul Bayning, 

Mr. William Masham, Robert Sadler, 




r 



256 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



Mr. John Spencer, 
Mr. Thomas Smyth, 
Mr. WiUiam Harborn, 
Richard Staper ^^ 
Thomas Lawrence, 
Robert Do we, 
Roger Clark, 
Henry Hewitt, 
Robert Bate, 
Leonard Poore, 



Henry Anderson, 
Henry Farington, 
Andrew Banynge, 
Phihp Erymes, 
Anthony Bate, 
Wilham Freeman, 
John Eldred, 
John Bate, 
Nicholas Cerd, 
Edmund Ansell, 



" The Articles of the privileges desired of 
her majesty by the merchants for the trade 
into Turkey and the Signiory of Venice." ^^ 
The points i to 7 are the same as in docu- 
ment marked B. Point 8 is a new one in this 
document ; it is not found in b. 

8. That for so much as their ships must 
take their due and proper times to 

** those voyages which otherwise 

cannot be performed in the rest of the 

" There is no " Mr. " preftxed to the rest of the 
names in the list. Perhaps this is because " Mr. " 
must in those days have implied seniority or worth. 

»* S. P. D. Eliz. vol. 231. No. 55. 

1^ It was impossible to make out this word in the MS, 



i 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



257 



year following her majesty is pleased 
that four ^* ships and 200 mariners 
to sail in them shall not at any time 
be here stayed for any service, but by 
virtue hereof suffered to depart quickly 
and freely for the said voyages. 
Then follow the other paragraphs as in 
document B. 

The names of those to be admitted are given 
as follows : — 

Sir John Harte, Lord 
Mayor, 



James Staper, 
Andrew Bayning, 
Robert Bate, 
Leonard Poore/^ 



Sir Edward Osborne, 
Sir George Bame, 
Sir Richard Martin, 
Mr. John Spencer, 

Alderman, 
Mr. William Massara, 

Alderman, 
Mr. Thomas Smith, 

Esquire, 

Mr. William Harbom, John Eldred, 
Richard Staper, John Bate, 

Thomas Cordell, Edmund Ancell, 

** I am rather doubtful about the niunber. 
** The name occurs in list B. Perhaps it is Roowe 
(= Rowe). 



Phillip Grymes, 
Anthony Bate, 

William Freeman, 




258 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



William Holmden, 
William Garraway, 
Paul Bayning, 
Thomas Lawrence, 
Robert Dowe, 
Robert Sadler, 
Henry Anderson, 
Henry Farrington, 
Roger Clarke, 
Henry Hewitt, 
Henry Passby,^* 



Nicholas Hearde, 
John Doddington, 
Thomas Dawkes, 
Thomas Trent, 
Thomas, Wodey, 
Richard Dussell, 
George Salter, 
John Moone, 
Nicholas Leate, 
William Smith. 



4" 
Right honorable, the merchants trading 
Turkey and Venice do most humbly beseech 
the same to have consideration of the great 
charges they have sustained in discovering 
and upholding the said trade being no less 
than 40 thousand pounds as appeareth — 

1. The maintenance of ambassador and 

agent at Constantinople at least ;f 20,000. 

2. The placing and maintaining of consuls 

>■ I am not sure about tliis name. The MS. was 
difficult to make out. 
" 5. P. D. EHz. vol. 239, No. 44. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 259 

in Scio, Tripoli, Alexandria, Patras 
and Algiers — ^£12,000. 
3. Those trading Venice have paid in im- 
post more than they have received, 
above £10,000. 
So thatno oneof your suppliants who have used 
any ample trade thither but it hath cost him a 
thousand pounds in these behalf. Thus have 
your suppliants hazarded their estates in mak- 
ing trials and preferring unfrequented trades 
whereby many of the principalest and best 
merchant ships have been made and increased 
with mariners in this realm ; Kersies, cloths 
and other English commodities have been there 
vented and from thence many needful things 
hither directly returned for your suppliants 
and all in English shipping, greatly advanc- 
ing her majesty's customs and setting many 
her subjects awork which else might have 
lived more idly. Wherefore, if your suppli- 
ants (who already are far too many for the 
trade) should receive the discouragement 
offered through the suits of some persons whose 
strange humours are never satisfied, having 
no regard how weighty a matter it is not to 
overcharge a trade, it must needs follow i" 



26o THE EARLY HISTORY OF 

those trades and with your suppUants as of 
late it hath done with the trade of Barbary 
and those merchants which some persons of 
Uke disposition to these enforcing into that 
trade and so everlaying the same have brought 
our English cloth there into contempt and 
advanced their dross and base sugar to high 
price and so not only spoiled and overthrew 
that trade but have undone themselves and 
many an honest merchant, old traders, whose 
living before it was. Assuredly no better 
success is to be expected in this trade if more 
should be admitted, for in very truth, the 
one half of us already traders are too many 
and in number sufficient to maintain that 
trade with as much of the commodity of this 
realm as possibly can there be vented, as the 
present time proveth, having now at this 
instant in those parts of English commodities 
more than by any means sufficient vent can 
be found for the same. So if more or others 
should be permitted to deal in that trade an 
oppression and confusion of the same must 
needs follow. The damage whereof should 
specially redound to your suppliants who have 
been at so great a charge in preferring the 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 261 

trade as aforesaid, and unto our servants who 
have adventured their lives in the same. Most 
humbly beseeching your honour (the premisses 
considered) to be a means that we may have 
the use of that trade without receiving in of 
any others for these certain years which her 
majesty did most graciously assent unto, 
whereby we may so trade with hope to recover 
our said charges, otherwise it will not only 
discourage us and others in like respect here- 
after to attempt and go on with like charges 
and discoveries, but be utterly discouraged to 

enter into any new charge which is not * * 

and so rather to withdraw ourselves, giving 
over the trade as soon as conveniently we may, 
with the loss of the great charges aforesaid, 
for that we are sure (the trade being so over- 
charged) loss and no gain is to be looked for 
therein. 

(Signed) 
Ed. Osborne, William Garraway, 

John Leate, Thomas Cordell, 

William Massam, Paul Bayning, 

John Spencer, and others. 

Richard Martin, 

'* I cannot make out this word in the MS. 



262 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



1 



The ill-treatment of the English merchants 
at the hands of the Venetians was a great 
point for the former, and they sought to make 
it quite clear how much worse off the English 
trader was than the Venetian, by giving con- 
crete examples. Thus, here is " a declara- 
tion 1* of the difference of the custom and 
impost between Venetians and Englishmen, 
as well for Kersies and tin as for currants. 



Englishman buys 
here loo pair of 
Kersies @ £4 a 



So the Engliskmnn is belter 
off than the stranger to 
the extent of £11. 



Stranger buj's here 

I 100 pair of Ker- 

I sies @ £4 a pair 

I He pays double 

' customs 

, He may pay in 

packing andsuch 

' other duties as 

the Englishman 

may not . . 



II 



£421 



" S. P. D. James I. vol. 6, No. 67. 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 263 



Englishman buy- 
eth 10 thousand 
weight of tin @ 
£4 per cwt. 

He payeth cus- 
toms for the 
same @ 2 shill- 
ings a cwt. 



=400 



= 10 



;f4io 

So the Englishman is better 
off than the stranger to 
the extent of £^ 10s, 



£ s. d. 
Stranger buyeth 

10 thousand 

weight of tin 

@ £4 P^r cwt. = 400 o o 
He pays in customs 

a quarter more 

than the Eng- 
lishman . = 12 10 o 
In other duties and 

charges . . = 100 



j£4i3 10 o 



264 THE EARLY HISTORY OF 



i s. d. 
Englishman bring- 
eth the said loo 
pairs of Kersies 
to Venice and 
there payeth 
more custom 
than the stranger 
3 %, which Ker- 
sies being rated 
at 20 Ducats the 
pair, the said 
overplus customs 
amounted to 6o 
Ducats, which @ 
5 shill. a ducat is 15 o o 

He bringeth the 
10 thousand 
weight of tin 
thither for which 
he doth pay 
more customs 
than the stranger 
by 3 %» which is 
60 dollars, and 

5 shiU. adollar=i5 



So that Englishman 
pays more in 
Venice for cus- 
toms on his Ker- 
sies and his tin= 



£ s. d. 
The stranger hath 
paid in England 
more customs 
and charges on 
his 100 pair of 
Kersies than the 
EngUsh doth . 11 o o 



And on tin more 
than the Eng- 
lish .... 



3 10 i. 



=3000 



i.e., £14 10 o 

So the EngUsh- 
man's charges in 
England and in 
Venice is more 
than the stran- 
gers (on both 
commodities) 15 10 o 

£30 o o 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



265 



An Englishman 
buys 100 pairs of 
Kersies and 10 
thousand weight 
of tin which he 
carries to 2^nt, 
and there he pays 
his ordinary cus- 
tom and charges 
as the Venetian 
doth. And be- 
sides we pay for 
impost of every 
pair of Kersies 
and every cwt. of 
tin 2 ducats, 
which the stran- 
ger payeth not, 
i.e., 400 ducats 
@ 5 shillings a 
ducat 



=100 



The stranger 
payeth in 
England for 
the charges on 
the Uke quan- 
tities of goods 
more than the 
Englishman 
doth (see pre- 
vious calcula- 
tion) 



i 5. d. 



14 10 o 



So the stranger 
hath more com- 
modities than 
the English- 
man hath by 85 10 o 



£100 o 



■ 1 


^H 266 THE EARLY HISTORY OF ^ 


^m ■ 


£ ^■'i- 


^^K An Englishman 


The Venetian 


^^H buyeth at Venice 


pays in Eng- 


^^H or Zant 100 


land for cur- 


^^^H thousand weight 


rants of like 


^^H of currants, for 


quantity one 


^^H which he pays 


and a quarter 


^^H impost, which 


as much as the 


^^H the stranger doth 


Englishman 


^^^1 not, 10 ducats on 


pays, i.e., £67 


^^H every thousand 


los. and £16 


^^^1 weight, which is 


17s. bd. . =84 7 6 


^^H 1,000 ducats, and 


In other duties 


^^M @ 5 shillings a 


which the Eng- 


^^1 ducat . ■ =350 


hshman doth 


^^H 


not pay the 


^^^1 More for customs 


stranger may 


^^1 in England of 


pay . . ■ 15 


^^^^1 the said 100 thou- 




^^^B sand weight of 


Together £99 7 6 


^^H currants, being 


So the stranger 


^^M 90 thousand 


shall rest in- 


^H weight @ 18 


debted to the 


^^M pence per cwt. =67100 


Englishman 


^^^ 


which he shaU 


^^H 


have his cur- 


^^H 


rants better 


^V 


cheap . . 218 3 6 


^H Together . £31? 10 


£317 10 


^^M Here is another su 


ch estimation ; *" 


^^^ " A computation made ye Englishman and ■ 


^^H so S. p. D. James J. vol. 10, No. 25. H 



■ 


^B THE LEVANT COMPANY 267 


^^■Venetian for 100 pair Kersies and 10 thousand 


weight of tin bought in London and carried 


to Venice ; as also upon 100 thousand weight 


of currants bought at Venice and brought to 


London, whereby it appears that the Venetian 


ina-y get £267 2s. more by his adventure than 


the Enghshman can do, buying and selling 


all at a price which is 5 shil. 11 pence upon 


every cwt. of currants." 


£ s. d. 


£ s. d. 


Englishman buys 


Merchant stran- 


in London 100 


ger buys in 


pairs of Ker- 


London 100 


sies which cost 


pairs of Ker- 


him £4 a pair=4oo 


sies, costing 


Custom on same lo o 


him . . .400 


He also buys 


Custom on same 30 


10 thousand 


He also buys 


weight of tin 


10 thousand 


@ £40 per 


weight of tin 


thousand =400 


@ £40 per 


Custom on same 11 13 4 


thousand = 400 




Custom on same 14 ir 4 


Together ;£82i 13 4 






Together £834 11 4 




Englishman 


The merchant 


buys at Ven- 


stranger buy- 


ice with the 


eth at Venice 


proceeds of his 


with the pro- ^^^ 


goods above 


ceeds of his ^^^^^^| 



^m 268 THE EARLY HISTORY OF ^^| 


^B i 


£s. d. 


^^B said 100 thou- 


goods above - 


^^^H sand of cur- 


said 100 thou- 


^^H rants, cost him 


sand weight 


^^^H there 5,000 


of currants, 


^^H ducats, which 


costing there 


^^H is sterling. 1,350 


5,000 " du- 


^^^H For Impositions 


cats, which is 


^^H he payeth 


sterling .1,250 


^^H 1,000 ducats. 


More, these cur- 


^^H which is ster- 


rants are so 


^^H ling . . .250 


much the dear- 


^^^1 More, for for- 


er to the mer- 


^^^1 bearance and 


chant stranger 


^^H adventure of 


for that he 


^^H the said 1,000 


pays more 


^^H ducats which 


custom out- 


^^^1 he payeth for 


wardly than 


^^^H impost . 30 


the English 


^^H More, his 


merchant by 12 18 


^^H arrival here, 


More, at arrival 


^^^1 he payeth im- 


of his goods 


^^H post . . .250 


here he pays 


^H 


impost . .250 


^^M Together £1,780 


Together £1,512 18 


^^H On the whole it is clear from this 'estimate ^that the ^M 


^^H Venetian may make his voyage better cheap than the ^H 


^^^B English merchant by the sum of £267 2s. ^H 


^^M Both these calculations are evidently from ^M 


^^M the side of the company, to show how badly ^M 


^^P ill The MS. here has 500 ducats. But it is clearly ^M 


^^B a slip of the pen, since the ;£i,25o is the same as in the ^^^ 


case of the Englishman. ^^M 



' THE LEVANT COMPANY 269 

off they were, compared to the Venetians. 
But I have been able to discover a similar 
calculation ^* which appears to be inspired by 
the opponents of the company, and, indeed, 
of the Turkey trade in general. It is there 
advocated that the trade should be given up 
altogether. Yet, if it is to go on, let it go on 
in a private way. The merchants need not 
complain of impositions, for the English mer- 
chant is on the whole better off than his Vene- 
tian rival. Here follow six reasons to prove 
the last statement — reasons which show a real 
comprehension of the principle of differential 
advantage. 

1. The Venetian shipping is bad and their 

navigation worse. 

2. They make their voyage twice as long as 

we do. 

3. They rely on no return for their freight 

is double. 

4. They come to another country and we 

to our home. 

5. They have to bear the venture of their 

return, which we do not. 



" 5. P. D. James I. vol. 10, No. 




270 



THE LEVANT COMPANY 



6. They must sell presently, but we may 
wait our occasion. 

Then comes the calculation : 






The Venetian buys 
currants in Venice 
and brings them to 
England to sell. 
They cost him per 
cwt 30 

For whole freight he 
pays .... 7 

Difference of assur- 
ance .... I 

Interest of 3 months i 

£39 



The Englishman 

buys currants at 

Venice and brings 

them to England 

to sell. They cost 

him per cwt. . 30 
Half freight ..30 
Impost 20 ducats . 4 10 



£37 10 



Therefore the Englishman is better off than the 
Venetian to the extent of £1 los. 





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